As members of the New England Patriots are honored at The White House today for their fifth Super Bowl win, the family of former tight end Aaron Hernandez is planning his funeral.  Convitced of first degree murder on April 15, 2015, Hernandez took his own life this morning in a cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Leominster, Massachusetts.  He was 27 years old.

Hernandez tragic end caps a troubled past.  Born November 6,1989 in Bristol, Connecticut, Hernandez was a standout high school and college football player.  During his short career in the NFL he racked up 175 receptions, 1,956 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.  Hernandez was drafted by New England as the 15th pick in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft.  He helped lead the Patriots to Super Bowl XLVI, during which he scored a touchdown.  The Patriots lost to the Giants 21-17.

Hernandez would never get another shot at a Super Bowl ring. He was convicted on April 15, 2015 for the murder of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, for which he was serving a life sentence without parole eligibility when he died.  His death follows by just two days his acquittal in the double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in 2012.

Hernandez father, Dennis Hernandez, died in 2006 due to complications from surgery when Hernandez was just 16 years old.  His mother, Terri Valentine-Hernandez told the Boston Globe, his father's death caused Hernandez to rebel against authority figures.

Hernandez storied career as an All American and BCS Champion at the University o Florida was marked by drug issues and brushes with the law, including a double shooting in Gainesville in 2007. He leaves behind a fiancée and a young daughter.

While it is difficult, if not impossible to feel sorry for Aaron Hernandez, it is also difficult to feel good about his death.  Here was a young man, like so many before him with an abundance of natural talent that somehow got lost along the way.  The violence Hernandez embraced overcame his desire to succeed and it cost him...and others dearly.

Just another tragic end to a tragic life of someone who really could have had it all.

What a waste.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Sources:; Wikipedia;; The Boston Globe



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