If it wasn't Friday and work wasn't hell, I would have had this up earlier.  In fact, I debated whether to post it at all.  Alas, it's gone uber-wide at this point, so it's likely you've already heard, and there are some ramifications to consider.   Charlie Davies was caught going 125 mph (or whatever that is in kilometers) at some point this past weekend.

Charlie's judgment is now up to question.  Just about a year after the crash that put a sudden halt his soccer career, Davies chose to take his Audi out and drive at dangerous speeds.  Why?  To what end?  How can he not have in mind what happened in DC, especially considering the timing of his transgression?

I've written consistently that Charlie's physical hurdles may still prove too much for him to recover the tantalizing talent he displayed before the accident.  What I had not considered was that his maturity might also hold him back; no matter how you view the actions that led up to the crash last October, it was reasonable to believe that Davies had "grown up", "learned his lesson", and "gained perspective" because of it.  Perhaps that's not the case at all, and Charlie Davies is still impetuous and irresponsible.  If there was one way to lose much of the support Charlie has built up in the American soccer community, by gosh, I think he's found it.

I'm more saddened and disappointed by this news than anything else.  Charlie doesn't owe me anything personally, so anger doesn't seem appropriate.  Ultimately, he's responsible for his actions no matter what he's dealing with physically or emotionally; even allowing for the possibility that Charlie is having trouble dealing with his situation, or the chance that the looming anniversary is weighing heavily on him, getting in a car and driving at irresponsible speeds is abhorrent.  I'd like to say that Charlie is better than that, but now I'm not quite sure.

The next time Bob Bradley has a chance to call up Davies, when and if the striker is completely rehabilitated into a first class player, this incident will no doubt be in the coach's mind.  Charlie's return to the National Team, because of the circumstances of his absence, isn't just a matter of his play.  His obligation isn't just to himself, but to his coaches and teammates; Bradley would be right to leave out Charlie if he has any doubts at all as to Davies' understanding of just what his mistake last October cost himself and the team.  Getting on the road and putting his life, and those of others, in danger by acting irresponsibly is the surest sign that Charlie just doesn't get it.

From here, Charlie's saga will feel less important for many of us.  The faith we put in him has been betrayed and the emotional investment we had in his comeback will be cashed out.   Rooting for him is no longer easy.

I still hope Charlie gets back.  I hope he finally gains that perspective I thought he already had.  I hope he figures out why this speeding ticket is a big deal and how many of his fans are crestfallen over it.

Dammit Charlie.

*UPDATE* Charlie says he wasn't driving but took the rap to protect a teammate. Still stupid, but less so. H/T to ecualung in the comments.
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