Charlie Davies: A Lesson in Personal Responsibility

13 October 2009

I'm going to admit right off the bat this blog won't be for everyone. This by far was one of the most difficult blog posts I've ever written in the three plus years I've been blogging. Much of this piece comes from the life experience I've had in my twenty-five and a half years on this earth. I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority on this one, and I'm well aware of that.

When I read the news this afternoon at about 5 pm goofing off at the office, my stomach knotted. When I see any news story involving a car accident with a fatality, I momentarily think about the family of the deceased... and then I went 'why am I reading this on ESPN'.

Never in a million years did I expect to see the name Charlies Davies in the news story.

Charlie Davies, a passenger in a SUV, was involved in a single car crash. Ashley Roberta, the other passenger died, the condition of the driver as far as I've read is still unknown. What we know of Charlie Davies injuries are pretty severe. A fractured right Tibia, right Fibula and left elbow, a lacerated bladder, and facial fractures are what we know about. Davies will be in the hospital at least another week, and he can expect more surgery than the five to six hours he had today. At best, rest/recovery/rehab will be about six months, but it could take as long as twelve. With just that on the table, who cares if he ever plays professionally again at a high level. While it's very likely he will, I'm thankful he's just alive.

Charlie Davies came into quick prominence during this summer's Confederations Cup, scoring the critical first goal against Egypt and setting up a goal in the final. It helped earn him a move to Sochaux, who are now down an attacking option as well.

The more I've read on this story, the more I reflect back on my life. When I was 23, the toughest decision I ever had to make was if it was time to put my dad in a nursing home. At the same time though, this angers me. Charlie Davies was a man who was on the verge I feel of having it all with this US National Team. One moment in the middle of the night changed all that, and Davies is hurt in an accident, knowing that someone else in the vehicle was dead. His career secondary to rehab and getting over the potential emotional scars of that night.

Above all, and this is where I expect to come into the most criticism, I have to question what was he thinking. At first I was angry at the US National Team staff for not setting a curfew. When I saw that Davies had missed curfew, I had to shake my head. I will be the first to admit I've never been a professional athlete, but I've never in my life missed a curfew. I also know the risks of staying out too late. If there was one thing my dad taught me, it was staying out too late always leads to something bad. When you're a professional athlete, I just feel you have to go 'okay for the sake of being at my best I need to cut out at a reasonable hour...I'll have time to party later'. When a professional athlete knows what time curfew is, honor it. Hell if anything, if you have a work deadline, beat it.

If anything, let's all look back on this accident and in the future be more careful in some of the decisions we make. They don't just effect us, but many more around us.


Chedda October 13, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

Seems a little early, no? We know way too little about this story to jump to conclusions. Sad, sad day for families, friends and fans of those involved.

The Third Half October 13, 2009 at 11:58 PM  


I'm trying to see where I jumped to conclusions. I waited as late as I could to write as much as I knew. The little we do know makes me just wonder why he was out that late. Yea I may have speculated a bit on his career moving forward, but while it's more likely he will come back and play, we just don't know yet.

Yes, thoughts and prayers should be to those who were in the vehicle, and to their families on this tragic day.

FCShambles October 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

Thanks for saying what many people were thinking. This is certainly a tragedy, but I can't help but feel like it could've been avoided. I am only a year older than Charlie and understand how small decisions often have big consequences. While I do think it is too early to make any assumptions regarding alcohol, etc. (which you haven't made), it isn't too early to ask why he was out there in the first place. Curfews are set to protect players and the team, and Charlie shouldn't have been out after curfew.

Keep up the good work.

NMT October 14, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

"I've never in my life missed a curfew. I also know the risks of staying out too late. If there was one thing my dad taught me, it was staying out too late always leads to something bad."

This is an illustration of what is wrong with giving ever moron with a keyboard a soapbox. Cut the man some slack and get down off of your high horse...

Chedda October 15, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

The conclusion you jump to is that being out past curfew was a proximate cause to getting into the accident. Car accidents happen all the time. I understand the "nothing good happens after midnight" line of thinking. It is probably helpful. However, being out late at night was NOT the reason he got in an accident.

Anonymous October 19, 2009 at 3:18 PM  

Third Half, I couldn't agree more. Even before I learned about the curfew, I wondered what he was doing out there at 3:15 a.m. the day before an important game (yes, it was an important game because even though we had qualified for the World Cup we were still competing for 1st place in the group).

So while being out late did not cause the accident, doing so indicates disregard for the team and lack of professionalism.

Clearly, the punishment doesn't fit the crime. It just leaves an empty feeling about what might have been and about the opportunities both for the U.S. team next year and a promising career in general.

Best wishes to Charlie for a speedy recovery!

Anonymous November 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM  

no one cares about your opinion clearly you're an idiot.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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