Fans' View

Fans’ View: News at 11 is that you peaked at 18

My daily commute home from the office takes me right past a large park that folks healthier than I apparently enjoy walking, jogging, and biking around. I frequently see the same guy lumbering slowly along that roadside. He is not a jogger. If I had to guess, I’d venture that he’s walking home from work.

By appearances, he’s about my age. That puts him nearer twenty years past high school than ten. Yet, every time I see him, winter, spring, summer, or fall, he’s wearing his high school jacket, varsity letter still proudly affixed.

As I am wont to do, I’ve developed an elaborate back-story for this fellow, my unwitting subject, which basically boils down to the fact that high school was the high point of his life.

So, this brings me to our ignominious D-Less-The-P, Freddy Adu. His story is, of course, less sad in that he still makes hundreds of thousands of dollars. But, grading on the curve, he’s essentially my dude from the park.

Pursued by Inter at ten, in residence at twelve, a professional at fourteen, to Europe at eighteen…then the cliff.

Down, down, down, until the last craggy outcropping clipped him this season. The-Next-Pele’s nadir: Ssmoking hookah in some guy’s crappy apartment (sorry random apartment, collateral damage guy) and without club or country.

Where did it go wrong? Could it have gone differently? Put simply, Yes.

People who find early success but later struggles can go a few different ways.

Some decide to hang ’em up and “go out on top.” It spares their dignity and spares us from watching the decline of a hero.

Some acknowledge and accept that they had a good run, then play on to the best of their remaining ability, sliding gracefully into an elder statesman or mentoring role. Let’s call this the Chris Albright route. Pure class.

But many, like Freddy, just can’t let it go.

They can’t give up the vision of the life they were supposed to have to enjoy the still-pretty-damn-awesome life that is available. They can’t give up being THE man to just be A man.

Unfortunately, and all too often, the puerile antics of this last group drag down the team around them. Because Freddy can’t move on, the Union cannot move on. They are left to buy the baby out of his tantrum with the world’s most expensive ice cream cone, or left waiting for the little guy to tucker himself out and fall quiet.

Is either the way he wants his story to end?

Hopefully a new story can begin in Brazil.


  1. Great article

  2. Don’t you know Hooka was a prank and not even Adu? The picture poster even posted it on same twitter feed the picture of his friend (not Adu) appeared. Don’t believe all you see on twitter.

    • Chris Rudderow says:

      A. As far as I know, the only clarifiaction was that he was not personally smoking rather than that it was not him.
      B. Way to pick out the most important sentence! The whole thing just falls apart now.
      C. Everyone knows you can’t lie on Twitter. It’s, like, a rule.

  3. Maybe Freddy screwed up last season given the reports of him being a distraction in the locker room. But either way, the Union signed him to a contract and they have to honor that. No fault to Adu for that.

  4. Great article. Also, there is always a chance that he will grow up or gain some class.

  5. Fans’ View: News at 11 is that you peaked at 18 pig

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