(Photo courtesy of Tifosi)
During the halftime coverage of the US/El Salvador match, Rob Stone and John Harkes made several points about the injured Yanks that are currently on the mend. Hopefully Ricardo Clark, Clint Dempsey, Gooch, and The Maestro are all making an excellent recovery as these four are without question “on the plane” for the trip to South Africa come June. However, if you look at the previous list, there is one name that some of you may have noticed is missing: Charlie Davies aka “Chuck D” as he is affectionately referred to at The Yanks Are Coming office. So why have I left Chuck D off the list? Simple, he should in no way be considered just another player making it back to match fitness after a minor knock or injury. This proclamation on my part has nothing to do with Davies’ progress in rehab or the idea that he still has an outside shot of making it back to the squad before this summer. Davies does not make this list because he did not pick up an injury while playing “the beautiful game.” Rather, he got hurt by being an irresponsible child whose actions resonate an undeniable sense of immaturity. Let’s quickly go over the facts. The night of the horrific car accident, Davies was subject to a team curfew in order to begin preparations for the next qualifying match against Costa Rica. Davies decided to
break the rules and instead enjoy more than a few adult beverages
in the company of old friends. To make matters worse, the group thought it was an excellent idea to go speeding on the highway late into the night at a time in which only drunks and truck drivers occupy the road. But the single most important part of this whole incident isn’t even about Davies. Ashley Roberta, a 22-year-old University of Maryland student lost her life that night. Since the accident fans and the media alike seem to be focusing on Davies’ recovery, and the increasing likelihood of his return to form in time for the World Cup. Yet, no one seems to be asking the question that boggles my mind to this day. Just what the (insert expletive here) were you thinking, Chuck? Imagine the coverage this whole incident would have received if Davies was a future or current star in any other major American sport. If Davies had been a college football player, there would have been incessant coverage of his “character flaws” and “maturity issues” before the NFL draft. If Davies had been NFL star, the story would have received at least the attention of the Donte Stallworth case. Hell, he could have been a baseball player for all I care. Just because Davies does not play one of the premier sports in America does not mean that his actions deserve a free pass from the media, sports
fans, or anyone in general. Sure, one may able to chalk up the entire incident to youth and hubris. After a stellar showing at the Confederations Cup, perhaps Davies thought it was time to party and put hard work on the back burner for a hot second. However, I think it’s much more than that. Simply put, Davies’ actions speak to the general lack of discipline on Bradley’s team. The reason Davies thought it was OK to break curfew and put himself in a dangerous situation stems from the lack of accountability demanded by the head coach. And it goes beyond just Chuck D. Michael Bradley’s whining and complete lack of respect for authority has been well documented at the national team level, as well as with his club in Germany. Still, he plays every minute in which he is available, even after picking up idiotic red cards. This lack of discipline is the same reason why Jimmy Conrad thinks he can simply shrug off a red card he picked up in the first 10 minutes of an important evaluation game for the entire squad. Bob, Charlie Davies is your chance to make a statement. You, sir, are the king of the castle. Davies needs to answer some serious questions before he is allowed the opportunity to compete for a spot on the World Cup squad. Simply putting him on the plane sends a message to this team, as well as the future squads that the coaches authority means nothing because there are no serious consequences. How’s that for team management? It may be easy to misinterpret my words as nothing more than the musings of a Chuck D hater. But that is just not the case. Truthfully, I want nothing more for Charlie Davies to realize his potential and have a long successful career. This is America. Hate it or love it, we are as much the home of the second chance as we are baseball or apple pie. In our country, it’s what one does with that second chance that truly counts. If there is any good to come out of tragedy, Davies’ relentless
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dedication to rehab and unwavering resolve speaks of a man who has put past his immaturities to understand the fragility of life. Keep on keepin’ on, Charlie. Puck is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.