Wanting to believe in Chris Herren
Chris Herren's new book is stirring old memories and lingering questions. We arrived at BC at the same time but under very different circumstances. I met Herren once and sat up close for his first and only game at BC. Before he could truly recover from his injury or give BC fans more memories, he bolted to Fresno State. Shortly after the transfer, Will McDonough dropped the hammer on Herren in the Globe announcing to the world Herren's drug problem. Those of us on campus had already heard the rumors. For the next few years there was a lot of "what could have been"s regarding Herren and his time at BC. I never bought into the talk. I always thought Herren was more hype than substance. If he hadn't arrived as a local star and book subject, no one at BC would have given Herren a second thought.
My doubts about Herren the player were also influenced by the questions regarding Herren the person. The guy was his own worst enemy and with each recovery I became that much more skeptical.
Because we are close in age and are both fathers, I have new empathy for Herren. Reading the excerpts of his new book, has me rooting for him for the first time since 1994. Yet I still have serious doubts. Is he sober now? Is this all an act to keep his name out there and sell a few books? Is his co-author Bill Reynolds (who put Herren in the spotlight as a high schooler) doing him a disservice by putting someone who cannot handle the public back in it?
Every time someone tells Herren's story, they use BC as a turning point. The Heights is where it began to unravel. Because I was there I should care. I didn't for a long time. Now I do. Now I want to believe. Let's hope this is finally his happy ending.
Labels: Chris Herren