Clinical depression is something that nearly 10 million people in America struggle with. And who better to talk to you about the affliction than a former Lions quarterback?
Eric Hipple, who played nine seasons for Detroit from 1980-89, was devastated in 2000 when his 15-year-old son took his own life amidst a battle with depression. He’s now giving seminars to teenagers in Michigan, informing them about depression and imploring them to seek help if they’re suffering. Unfortunately, Hipple’s former employer hasn’t done a whole lot to lift the spirits around there over the last 50 years.
When Greg Oden entered the league, he was seen as a fun-loving kid who just happened to look 45. Well, now his persona is reportedly matching his appearance, taking a nose dive just when a number of middle-aged stock brokers watch their retirement pension funds go up in smoke. Hey, you’d be pretty depressed, too, if you lost $3 million in a week.
(Leave Greg and his puppy alone. They’re sulking.)
Oden? This guy should be happy with one of the world’s greatest lives. He’s an immensely compensated professional athlete who lives in a beautiful city that wants nothing more than to love him as he resurrects the franchise. The problem is that, while the Trail Blazers are clearly on an upswing, Oden hasn’t been the catalyst. That’s left the big man more than sulky, according to PORTLAND OREGONIAN beat writer Jason Quick on Portland’s 1080 THE FAN sports radio on Wednesday. Here’s the best pull from what Quick had to say:
I can’t really stand to be around him. He’s such a downer. He’s not a very fun guy to be around and he’s not a very fun guy to talk to. I think his teammates like him, but that guy is not interacting with very many guys in the locker room right now. He can’t let go of being Greg Oden. I think he’s obsessing with all this expectations. Until he starts having fun again playing basketball, he’s not going to get better. I don’t know how he’s going to do that.
That sure sounds like early burnout, doesn’t it?
Everyone who straps on the shoulder pads and ties their cleats wants to make it to the NFL one day. That’s where fortunes are made and men who are such athletic freaks of nature that they’re barely classifiable as human are revered. Sure, you’d get hurt, but you’d be good enough at football that you’d dole out some hurting yourself, and plus bones heal anyway, so what’s the big deal, right?
(Well, you have to take this guy out, his brain is glowing.)
Well, according to the CBC’S FIFTH ESTATE program, there is, in fact, no big deal–as long as you don’t feel like living much past your fiftieth birthday.
I was going to make some bad joke about Delonte West being depressed because, between him and ‘Boobie’ Gibson, there’s not enough opportunities to chuck ill-advised threes to go around in Cleveland. But I won’t.
West has been one of the more interesting characters in basketball, dating back to when he and I were in college at the same time, and I would watch him just take apart my Temple Owls twice a year. But what drew people to him was his offbeat personality, and his almost-bizarre interviews. (Sample quote: “You can’t kill a G. Bugs Bunny is a G. I want to be Bugs Bunny. I would pay to be Bugs Bunny for one day.”
So it wasn’t really much of a surprise when West confirmed the rumors that his two-week absence from the Cavaliers was due to seeking treatment for depression, which he says he’s dealt with for years.