Athens Review, Athens, Texas


October 11, 2012

Make something great out of your life, instead of a tragedy

Athens — Kids, kids, kids. I'm talking about the big kids today, and especially a big kid with an arm like a cannon, and a substance abuse problem big enough to waste it.

His name is Casey Paschal (pronounced Paw Haw), and he's one terrific quarterback.

Make that, was one terrific quarterback. As of noon Tuesday, Casey “dis-enrolled” at TCU. By sundown, he was to have been enrolled in a substance-abuse program.

Casey Paschal was the outstanding quarterback of the Horned Frogs’ highly-successful football program, until it all went south with off-the-field problems.

Kids, kids, kids.

Gary Patterson, who has built one of the nation's best programs on hard work, fundamentals and discipline, has to be wondering  just how long it's going to take Casey to stop being a kid?

Right or wrong, Patterson needs a young man to be the leader of his team — not a kid. He had his young man in Andy Dalton, who now starts for the Cincinnati Bengals.

When he moved up, nobody thought Patterson could find a replacement, but he handed the football to Casey, who physically comes very close to his predecessor.

But Dalton was the young man every coach dreams of having on his team, and I'd hazard a guess that Casey might get tired of hearing that. 

But Casey can be every bit as good as Dalton, and that's the tragedy in the making here. Rather than leading this team, he, and a few others, allegedly have been pulling it down.

It happens. You suddenly have a lot of players getting in trouble with the law in the off-season. Next thing you know, that competitive edge in the college-football world has come to respect  in  the TCU football team, starts coming up short.

Despite just one loss, TCU, the overachieving team of the last decade, has, to many observers, started  to underachieve.

Kids, kids, kids.

I'm not down on Casey. I just don't want to see him blow this thing. More importantly, I don't want to see the football program torn apart by the kids.

Just grow up, guys. Or quit and go play with coeds, and party hard. But don't take down the whole football team doing your own thing.

The blogs are enough to  make you sick. Other “kids” are blaming it on the media, on the coaches, on the parents.  People just trying to cause trouble.

Knock it off,  kids.  You're talking gibberish.

The members of this team, like the members of any college team these days, have to make a decision. You want to be a Top-10 football program, and possibly get a chance at millions in the pros?  Or, more important, a good college education? Then go back to being  your overachieving selves.

These guys have to know when to say when. If they can't, and this program puts up with them, Patterson and everything he's worked so hard to build up, will vanish.

Before you start sending purple frogs to spit on me, some of the most inspiring stories I've had, and other writers have had, is the privilege of writing about players who have gotten into trouble, straightened themselves out, and come back to lead their teams to the heights of success.

We've all seen it go the other way, too, and the consequences have often been tragic.

Just be a man, Casey, and accept the help you need to become that man. None of us are supermen in a cape. That's our egos talking.

There aren't that many Daltons, or Staubachs, or Drew Brees to model behavior from. You don't have to be them, anyway.  You don't have to lose the tattoos, Casey. Just lose the attitude.

A few gifted athletes like Mr. Paschal, and some not-so-gifted athletes, can become super-human beings. When that happens, everybody wins, NFL or not.

As it stands now, a very saddened coaching staff and football team will have to pay the price for the few who wouldn't pay it for this season.

Make no mistake, Casey  Paschal owes this team a season he's helped take from them.

Personal note to Casey: When you threw five touchdown passes for over 500 yards against my Boise State Broncos last year, you broke my heart.  You also showed me you were one heckuva quarterback.

That, of course, was just a very exciting football game. Nothing to compare to the heartbreak you've caused your team and coaches and all those crazy Purple Frog People.

Be a man, Casey.  Take it a day at a time. When you get back — and  you will — it's payback time.

That's a story kid, that I can't wait to write.

Art Lawler is a Staff Writer for the  Athens Daily Review.

Text Only
  • 4-12 Rich mug.jpg Meal time for kitties can be an adventure

    I believe God gave us housecats because we didn’t have enough to worry about. They are puzzling little puffs of fur that seem to be constantly developing new sets of peculiarities.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG I've got my rib back!

    Much has changed since Jan. 19, 2008.
    Bruce Almighty, Man on the Moon, Major League – gone.
    Complete rooms decorated with sports memorabilia – gone.
    More than a dozen trips to catch baseball in Arlington – gone.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Exhausted, but happier than ever

    Wow, what a rush!
    I can not begin to explain the emotions I experienced on Monday, March 17 as Maylee Grace Wilson made her debut.
    Yes, there were tears.
    Yes, this “Iron Man” showed the emotion he hoped and prayed for.
    Over the two weeks I was home with Maylee and my wife Lacie, I experienced a plethora of emotions - emotions rather rare in my life.
    As expected, there was little sleep at the hospital. With the way Maylee acted her first night, I thought I might be able to catch a little shut-eye once we got home.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe new mug.jpg Music helps deal with life’s situations, good or bad

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.”
    With music, it can help us deal with tragic situations, help us deal with the loss of a loved one, make us want to dance, make us want to sing along to the words, or help us calm down after a long day of work.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg ‘Small town, USA’ has advantages, disadvantages

    Living in a small town can have its advantages and disadvantages. For me, personally, I love “Small Town USA.”
    Some disadvantages possibly are: if you do something out of character, everyone will know by tomorrow morning; everybody tends to be related, so watch what you say;  limited resources;  it's not easy to broaden your horizons; and driving more than 50  miles to the nearest mall.



    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg A habit in a society and in a home that should stop

    It was Tuesday that I was walking back to my car on the Walmart parking lot, when a business acquaintance of mine who comes to the Review office sometimes, stopped her car in front of me to say hello.
    I noticed her doing something that happens at almost any moment she is around, without the office surroundings.  She had a cigarette in her hand.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • RICH-USE THIS ONE.jpg TVCC Lady Cards add to school’s winning legacy

    When I came to work in Henderson County in 1991, the Trinity Valley Community College Cheerleaders had already picked up a couple of national titles. Coach Connie Russell had the team doing things few had ever seen cheerleading squads do. Russell retired after winning five times on the national stage.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Let’s all follow Tom’s lead

    My first-born child is here and there is a hero for her to admire already.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • COLUMNIST.jpg Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimation

    The bar owner was blunt. A couple of weeks ago, he announced that people of a certain persuasion would not be allowed into his establishment.
    To demonstrate his seriousness, he had head shots printed of those who are not welcome to make sure that his security team would deny them entry.

    March 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG I am Iron Man, the suit and I are one

    The suit is damaged, it might not hold up this time.
    Like many men, I have hidden my emotions behind a suit of armor for years.
    Happy, sad, excited or mad – my external emotions were never displayed.
    In some ways that was a good thing, but in others...

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge