You , Me and Dupree

Dec 02, 2010

Before the title scares you away I want to clear up the fact that this blog has nothing to do with that terrible movie of the same title with Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson – You, Me, and Dupree.  As a sports fan I’m a little embarrassed that I knew nothing about Marcus Dupree and I may be dating myself but he was before my time. He was one of the most recruited high school football stars ever, who ended up going to Oklahoma.  He was featured last week on ESPN’s 30 for 30 and it was an incredible story that I highly recommend checking out.

Rather than recap the entire documentary I’ll focus on the part that stood out most to me.   Marcus Dupree set a Fiesta Bowl rushing record with 249 yards that still stands today…and that was the beginning of the end of his career.  How can that be?  It must’ve been an injury right?  Not exactly.  Oklahoma lost to Arizona State 32-21. His head coach at Oklahoma, Barry Switzer, publicly criticized him following the game for not practicing hard and being overweight.  He told Dupree “If you’d been in shape, you’d have rushed for 400 yards, and we’d have won the game.”   Although he set a record and did well for himself, the main point is they lost the game.

Was it fair for the coach to blame the loss of a game on a freshman, especially one that just had a record breaking performance…no.  Does that mean what he was saying was wrong?  The truth is he wasn’t wrong.  When someone isn’t reaching their full potential it is great to have someone who not only will point it out, but will help you reach and exceed expectations.  Barry Switzer pointed it out but was not able help this Freshman .  His pride was hurt and in his mind he probably knew there was some truth to what his coach was saying.  Had Dupree taken this criticism and used it as motivation to take it to the next level who knows what kind of future he would have had.

Inexperience was a factor in the mistakes Dupree made as well as some negative influential people in his life.  What is the takeaway from a story like his?  For me it was that a little bit of individual success is great but if it keeps you content and causes you not to reach your full potential then it’s not so great.  If your “team” loses or an opportunity is missed because you can’t swallow your pride and accept criticism, the chance may be lost and life will pass you by.

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