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Vince Young In Esquire

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Don't give up on Vince Young.


My grandmom worked the graveyard shift, and everybody knew that after she left and the kids were in bed, the party was at our house. Every night. Smoking, dancing, having sex, and there I was, couldn't sleep for the noise, looking through that little hole at a strange world, man. People so strung out that they're stuttering, a-a-a-a-a-a. I didn't know what strung out was, but I knew they were strung out. That was my window on the world. And I thought to myself, I don't know what else is gonna happen to me, but I do not want to be like that.

I'd wake up in the middle of the night, make sure everything was locked up, make sure my mom's keys were hidden because my uncle used to steal the car all the time, peek in on my sisters' room to make sure nobody was bothering them, make sure their windows were locked. The garage door was broken from my uncle, so got to check that, too. He'd break in and steal what he could carry. I must have lost four Nintendos to him, microwaves, you name it. I love my uncle, I forgive him, but I couldn't respect him as a man. He was stealing from us, his own family, and that's no way for a man to behave, you know? I was about ten.


Oh, the Rose Bowl. It was fourth down and five. Twenty-six seconds left. The national championship on the line. In the huddle, I just wanted everybody to stay loose. So I said, "Look at how ugly they are. Jesus, they're ugly." And then I said, "We're gonna win this game." And I looked at each of my teammates and said, "One more down. Everybody do their job."

We will all be flat on our backs at one time or another. That's when you figure out what you've got inside.

Why can't you give up on Vince Young?

Because he never gave up on us.