Is This JaMarcus Russell Film A Humanizing Look At A Fallen Star, Or Just An Ad For Jeff Garcia’s Workout Program?

  • Eric Goldschein

ESPN aired a short film last night on JaMarcus Russell, the former Sugar Bowl MVP, turned overall number one draft pick, turned purple drank addict, turned fat man trying for a comeback. And indeed, we have heard rumblings over the past few weeks that the JaMarcus Russell comeback tour is gaining traction, despite his history of having little work ethic and blowing millions of guaranteed money on codeine syrup.

But “JaMarcus Russell, Waking Up” is — despite the appearance of the OneRepublic song of the same name Imagine Dragons song at the very end — a compelling mini-documentary on Russell’s path from Mobile to Oakland to Jeff Garcia’s house, or private beach, or gym, or wherever they got the shots of Russell sweating profusely. Between the numerous cuts to Russell with tears running down his face and the story of his uncles, it’s hard not to feel for the guy. But this can also be seen as a super-long, high-definition commercial for Jeff Garcia as a coach. He does seem to be Russell’s last hope for NFL redemption.

Garcia is also working with Mark Sanchez this spring. So if those two guys end up exceeding expectations and quarterbacking competently, we can go ahead and elect Garcia as the King of Sport.

Here’s the movie:

(Personally, I’ve liked JaMarcus Russell ever since he lit up Notre Dame in the 2007 Sugar Bowl, and have had a soft spot for the guy ever since. Tears and dead relatives and excuses and Jeff Garcia aside, I hope he gets a shot.)

[Larry Brown Sports]