Just 3 weeks after leading the Texas Longhorns to a Rose Bowl victory and a National Championship, Vince Young has gone from hero to goat in many people’s eyes.
Young gained the respect of many (including myself) with his performance on the field in Pasadena. He was on top of the world. He established himself as a legitimate QB and a top NFL Prospect. He was the talk of the nation. He even appeared on TV with Jay Leno.
What has he done to tarnish his reputation amongst some of his biggest fans? Well he traveled back to his hometown of Houston and signed some autographs. There’s nothing wrong with that. Right? Young is a hero in Houston and I think it’s safe to say that his autograph is in high demand.
That’s right there is nothing with VY signing for his fans. But, there’s a catch. You see, apparently Young couldn’t wait to collect his huge NFL signing bonus. So, he spent last weekend at a Collector’s Show where he sold his autograph..
People lined up for more than 3 hours for the chance to pay VY $79 for an non-personalized autograph. That’s right for $79 you couldn’t even get Vince to write “…Best Wishes…”
While it is very common for athlete’s to show up on the Collector’s circuit. What’s not so common is for them to show up so quickly. A lot of former athletes use these shows to supplement their post-career income. A lot of these guys played in an era when there was no such thing as 7 figure, set for life contracts. A lot of these guys retired from their sport with little or no money in the bank. A lot of them depend on the money they earn from these shows.
It’s different now. If Vince and his people are wise and are able to manage the money properly, his first NFL contract will assure him a comfortable life. And, if he is successful, his second contract will make him filthy rich.
In the end, this is a mini-controversy and it will go away as mini-controversies often do. I understand the temptation to make the quick buck. $79 was the cost of his autograph. But at what cost to his reputation? I sure hope it was worth it, Vince.