‘Finding Charles Rogers,’ Jim Harbaugh on Colin Kaepernick in Time and more Big Ten football news
Michigan State’s Charles Rogers (1) celebrates his 21-yard touchdown reception against Northwestern in the second quarter Saturday, Sept. 28, 2002, in East Lansing, Mich. With the catch, Rogers set an NCAA record by catching a touchdown pass in his 13th straight regular-season game.
Today’s Big Ten football links feature one of the conference’s most prolific players of the early 2000s, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan’s players preparing to go abroad to Rome and beyond.
Charles Rogers was a Michigan State star in the early 2000s who seemed destined for NFL stardom. But the wide receiver’s career was plagued by injuries and an inability to stay on the field. There were flashes of his potential brilliance with the Detroit Lions, but Rogers eventually faded out of the picture.
The Lansing State Journal’s Cody J. Tucker went to find Rogers:
He once lived in a million-dollar mansion in the Detroit suburbs with Mercedes-Benz and Cadillacs lining the driveway. He had expensive jewelry, the latest rims and often spent expensive weekends with friends, drinking by the pool and in the clubs of Las Vegas.
That party has been over for a while.
He says injuries derailed his career: two broken collarbones in his first two seasons with the Lions. But a pain-killer addiction, coupled with failed drug tests and NFL suspensions for marijuana use aided his premature exit from the league. He is considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history.
He still smokes marijuana every day. In his mind, injuries and Vicodin ended his career. Marijuana didn’t.
LSJ columnist Graham Couch has a companion piece to Tucker’s feature.
Staying in-state, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh penned a piece on Colin Kaepernick for Time’s “The 100 Most Influential People.” In it, Harbaugh — who was initially critical of Kaepernick’s protest during the national anthem of San Francisco 49ers games — lauds Kaepernick for his actions in exercising his first amendment rights over the past year or so.
Rather than besmirch their character, we must celebrate their act. For we cannot pioneer and invent if we are fearful of deviating from the norm, damaging our public perception or–most important–harming our own personal interests.
I thank Colin for all he has contributed to the game of football as an outstanding player and trusted teammate. I also applaud Colin for the courage he has demonstrated in exercising his guaranteed right of free speech. His willingness to take a position at personal cost is now part of our American story.
Harbaugh’s Wolverines are preparing to head to Rome for the end of spring practice, and once that trip is over, the players will fan out across the globe for a variety of other study-abroad programs.
Here’s a look at the rest of the day’s links: