Friday, May 14, 2010

Chuck D

I like Charlie Davies. I do. I mean, what's not to like? He's young. He's extremely talented. And he explodes to goal with reckless abandon. Case closed.

But I'm not going to lie: 23-year old Charlie Davies has a lot of growing up to do.

As you know, Charlie was involved in a serious auto accident last Fall, one which claimed the life of a young woman. Charlie barely escaped with his life. He suffered multiple injuries - injuries which would normally debiliate most people, athletes or otherwise, for the rest of their life. Nevertheless, he was determined to return to the pitch, and vowed he'd make himself healthy enough to play in the World Cup, which at the time, was less than a year away.

His journey back has been well-documented. He rehabbed at an astonishing rate. His muscles healed quickly. His bones fused back together, seemingly stronger than ever. It was remarkable.

He promised that he would play club soccer at Socheaux before the end of their season. And he nearly did, until the club's technical director ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

Of course, this was a considerable setback. It's nearly impossible to go into a World Cup nine months cold, which is exactly what Charlie faced knowing that his next club game wouldn't arrive until late-summer.

On Tuesday, Bob Bradley announced his preliminary 30-player World Cup roster earlier this week. To the amazement of many, our buddy Charlie was not on it.

Nevermind that it was the right decision. Regardless of whether he felt ready, the fact is that very few players can perform at the highest level there is - World Cup - without recent match time. Charlie Davies believed he was ready. But, despite what he may think, the world, not even the soccer world, revolves around what Charlie Davies believes.

When players are snubbed for tournament selection, many choose to take the high road. They give the old "I wish I was there, but that won't stop me from working hard"-type cliche. And that's that.

But Charlie had no interest in taking that road. Instead, he decided to bash his club, by wildly alluding that they prevented him from making the U.S. preliminary roster.

I'll say it again: I like Charlie. I really do. But I think that maybe, just maybe, he might be in need of a reality check.

The fact of the matter is that, whether he remembers this or not, Charlie Davies is lucky to even put himself in a position to earn a roster spot. His recovery is nothing short of miraculous. He should be happy that his body withstood the crush of cold metal that snapped his bones and ripped his tendons. He should remind himself that he is lucky to have survived - a luxury not afforded to everyone involved in the crash.

While Charlie's whining about having his Word Cup dream sabotaged, there are a set of parents who continue to grieve their daughter's death. Note to Charlie: your plight is far, far less serious than that of a parent who has to bury a child.

Instead of turning his frustration - which I can understand, after all the hard work he's put in - into anger, he should feel blessed. Blessed that he can walk. Blessed that he can make cuts on the pitch that few of us who haven't endured serious injury couldn't make. Blessed that he's on the verge of returning to his world-class form. Blessed to be alive.

Because, despite his immaturity, Charlie Davies has to be one of the luckiest people on the face of the planet.

1 comment:

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