I've said before that one of my favorite unintended lessons from writing about sports all day is finding out that human beings are nuanced, layered creatures. Our actions and words might be what we present to the world but they do not tell the whole story.
I don't know this for a fact but I'm guessing when John Raymon decided to transfer from Iowa to play for the Syracuse Orange, some folks immediately labeled him as weak or lazy or a quitter. It's what we do sometimes. Action and reaction.
But I find it hard to believe that any of those people could read Nate Mink's article on Raymon from over the weekend and come away with anything but sympathy for the big man, not to mention immediately start rooting for him to succeed.
John Raymon was a young boy when his mother whipped him with a vacuum cord, broke his teeth and made him sleep outside on trash bags.
The abuse shaped his view of the world. He got in fights and stole. He bounced from home to home and ended up in a facility for troubled kids. It took him months to trust his new family, and even today Raymon said he can't fully trust anyone.
Seriously, just go read it if you haven't already. And I'll look for you and your new 97 jersey in the Dome crowd come September.
And while you're at it, use the article as a nice reminder that if the NCAA, which denied Raymon's request to play last season despite hearing his story, were a human being, you'd hope it's dog died.