your life forever." --Chazz Pelminteri
There isn't a more fitting quote in the world to describe the life of Lawrence Phillips than
the one hatched by Bronx-born and raised actor, Chazz Pelminteri..
God blessed Lawrence Phillips with jaw-dropping talent that made him the sixth
overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. At 6'1" and a chiseled 230 pounds, Phillips was a
freight train in cleats. His 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash allowed him to outrun everybody
not name Deion Sanders.
Fame and Fortune were there for the taking. But his decisions throughout his 40-years on
the planet shaped his life, which ended Wednesday in a jail cell in California. Lawrence
Phillips killed himself, thus, closing the book on a sad and tumultuous life that saw him
waste his incredible talent.
Phillips spent much of his life inflicting pain on others, both on and off the field. He
assaulted people, dragged a girlfriend down a stairwell by her hair, and even killed
another man--in prison.
Yes, Lawrence Phillips was a mean person and just a bad dude. Some will say he was
a thug. Others described him as a sociopath. I seriously doubt tears were shed by people
around the country when they heard the news of his death. Most likely didn't bat an eyelash.
Family members won't attend his funeral because Lawrence Phillips didn't real have
Those affected by his maniacal behavior probably uttered a "good riddance" or much harsher
phrases aimed at Phillips, who was likely to get the death penalty after being convicted of
killing another person in jail.
Suicide was his way out. He was either going to spend the rest of his life in prison or die
by lethal injection. Lawrence Phillips did things on his terms, which is just about the
way he went through high school, college, and the NFL.
Nobody will every really know what led to his demise. It could've been the fact that
he grew up in foster homes, passed on from one family to the next. God may have tapped
him on the shoulder and said, "I have blessed you with great gifts, use them wisely.
However, you will have to do it all on your own, without the guidance of any parents."
Phillips' may of had great talent, but he was void of being loved by his natural family
that abandoned him. Perhaps, the hurt of that sparked a raging inferno inside of him
that couldn't be extinguished unless he put it out himself.
Coaches coddled Phillips all his life because he had a special talent that could improve
their lives and their careers. In 1995, Nebraska coach Tom Osbourne didn't kick Phillips
off the team after the star running back was arrested for brutally assaulting his girlfriend.
Osbourne suspended Phillips before reinstating him in time to get ready for the national championship game.
Osborne defended his decision, saying that abandoning Phillips might do more harm
than good, stating the best way to help Phillips was within the structured environment
of the football program.
I wonder what Tom Osborne thought after hearing the news Wednesday about
the suicide of his former star player. Perhaps, kicking Phillips off the team would've
done more good than harm. Maybe Phillips wouldn't have thought he could get away
with just about everything, including murder.
Other coaches in the NFL looked the other way when Phillips went off the rails again
and started to cause trouble again. He was arrested for driving his car into a group
of kids after a pick-up football game.
Yet, there was another team and franchise willing to give Phillips another chance
because of his 'special' talent.
It all caught up to Phillips eventually and he found himself in his rightful place:
in prison and a jail cell. Phillips was a menace to society and even the population at
a maximum-security prison. He had to be put away.
On January 13, 2016, Lawrence Phillips decided his wasted life was no longer living.
The decisions he made throughout his 40-year journey had shaped him. He was just
a terrible guy, one who was out of control and nothing without his God-given talent.
Perhaps, now, Lawrence Phillips has finally found a little peace in his life.