“Nobody knows what it’s like / to be the bad man…”

Charles Haley is my third-favorite Dallas Cowboy, behind Robert Newhouse and John Dutton and just ahead of Golden Richards.

There are some players in the NFL who, after making a successful play, insist on expressing their joy through interpretive dance.  That always struck me not just as stupid and self-aggrandizing, but as an oddly effeminate way for a big burly athlete to celebrate.

Haley never did that.  He’d leave a quarterback flat on his back, twitching,  then turn slowly around and walk away.  It made him look like Darth Vader; menacing, invincible, unstoppable.

I had no idea how much he was suffering inside.

Click HERE to read how he came to diagnose and deal with his mental illness, paying special attention to what he asked the journalist to emphasize:  “If you want to call me that I have a mental illness, you put at the end, ‘but he’s happy,’ but that’s because I sought help and I get help and I take my medicine.”



One thought on ““Nobody knows what it’s like / to be the bad man…”

  1. …It is not surprising to know that our athletes, who we somehow see as meta-humans, are often beset by such maladies… but even if we account for the pressure with which drove them to the tops of their professions, the living with the stress of their work would be enough to break many people… I am glad that he was able to get help and he did not let the macho attitude that comes with being an athlete, especially a football player in the NFL, keep him from taking care of himself…


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