Tyrann Mathieu must succeed where Beasley, others have failed

Arizona Sports News online

Each day life is filled with temptations and decisions.

A right path and a wrong.

In sports and the athletes who play them, each wrong path has consequences, just as it does for the common middle-class American.

Except in sports fantasy land, society’s forgiveness is much greater. Some of our everyday “super heroes”  are awarded more do-overs than the Phoenix Coyotes ownership saga. We tend to forgive and forget athlete’s past transgressions. They, and their multi-million dollar salaries, abide by a different set a rules. Their public pedestal, much like their tax bracket, sit much higher.

You would think by now 24-year old Suns forward Michael Beasley would have learned his lesson.

Apparently not after last week’s arrest for suspicion of marijuana possession. Add that to the pending possible sexual assault case and a handful of past legal matters and you see why the second overall pick in 2008 is already playing for third but certainly not last, NBA team.

Let’s hope across town in Glendale, Cardinals rookie safety Tyrann Matthieu saw Beasley’s expressionless mug shot and took a quick break from the grind of training camp to consider.

These two athletes share more than a God-given athletic ability to dominate a game.

They share a past which included no father. Beasley was raised by his mother while Mathieu had an empty relationship with his mom while his biological dad, Darrin Hayes, has spent most of Tyrann’s life in jail. Matthieu was eventually adopted by his grandparents in 1997.

His story, like Beasley’s, is well-documented. A Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011 who led LSU to the BCS Championship game. One would never guess it would be the last time he’d ever wear the purple and gold after being kicked out of school for reportedly failing more than 10 drug tests.

Early indications appear the humbled Matthieu is headed in the right direction. After a strong opening to training camp the third-round pick registered four tackles (one for loss), a sack and a pass deflection in his pre-season debut against the Packers.

“He was all over the field,” head coach Bruce Arians said Sunday. “That’s the way he’s been practicing everyday.”

Will the artist formerly known as “Honeybadger” stay on the straight and narrow?

That’s still anybody’s guess but let’s hope he’s learned his lesson unlike Beasley whose opportunities may soon be running out.