A Fallen Patriot: The Tragic Story Of Aaron Hernandez (Part One)

Bristol Central High School: Aaron Hernandez posing for a picture
University of Florida: Quarterback Tim Tebow & Aaron Hernandez
New England Patriots: Aaron Hernandez

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE TOUCHES ON DOMESTIC AND SEXUAL ABUSE!

Hello, again my little morbid babies. I was trying to come up with a nickname like other bloggers and YouTubers do for their followers but yeah that didn’t work out too well. That sounded creepy, so I’m not doing that again.

I didn’t want to write about this since it is still a relatively fresh high-profile case. But I felt compelled to since I have been very interested in this particular case since day one. You know I hate doing this to you guys but I’m going to have to make this a two part article. There is just too much information to try and jam into one. I still remember when it broke on the news, Aaron Hernandez had been arrested for murder. No, it can’t be, not the tight end for the New England Patriots. Not the up-and-coming star that had so much potential. That is exactly who it was. Please understand that while I do have my opinions about this case, I am in no way, shape, or form defending or excusing what Aaron Hernandez did. I am simply giving my thoughts and sharing my point of view with you all. Which is nothing new when you think about it. We all feel differently about things and at the end of the day that is okay.

Aaron Josef Hernandez was born on November 6, 1989, in Bristol, Connecticut. His father Dennis and mother Terri fought often and Hernandez remembered his Dad getting thrown out of the house on multiple occasions. The couple married in 1986, divorced in 1991, and remarried in 1996. In 1991, they filed for bankruptcy. Hernandez also told ESPN that both his parents were involved in criminal activity and spent time in jail. So, it doesn’t sound like a very happy home life for the Hernandez family. Hernandez had one sibling, an older brother, Dennis Jonathan Jr. (D.J). Their father pushed them to excel at anything they did, including sports. If Dennis felt that either of his sons was not trying their hardest in school or extracurricular activities, he would beat them. Hernandez told interviewers that his father was an alcoholic and would sometimes abuse them in one of his alcohol-induced states for no reason at all.

The brothers lived in fear of their father but at the same time revered him. Dennis once punched Aaron’s youth football coach in the face after they got into a dispute about coaching methods. In January 2006, when Hernandez was only 16 years old, Dennis passed away after he suffered complications from hernia surgery. According to Terri Aaron was heavily affected by his father’s death and began to rebel against authority in his time of grief. Those who knew Hernandez closely claim he never truly got over the loss of his father. He soon became estranged from his mother and moved in with his older cousin, Tanya Singleton. The plot thickens ya’ll, the plot f thickens. After Dennis’s death, the family learned that Terri had an ongoing affair with Singleton’s husband, Jeff Cummings. Ya, little nasties! Shame on you!

After the affair went public Singleton and Cummings divorced and Tanya moved in with Terri. Wait, what? You are going to move in with the Aunt that had an affair with your husband? Okay, lady, you do you. This enraged Hernandez and he became more involved in criminal activity. As an adult, Hernandez would blame his mother for failing to obtain medication for his Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which he believed caused him to do poorly in school. Wow, guys, that hits way too close to home. Sure, he was a piece of shit human being but I can empathize with him. That hit me deep in my heart. Okay, I’m good, we can move on now. I might need a damn minute. I didn’t expect that to bother me as much as it did. In a recorded jailhouse phone call, Hernandez is heard telling his mother; “There’s so many things I would love to talk to you about, so you can know me as a person. But I never could tell you. And you’re gonna die without even knowing your son.” According to D.J., Hernandez was also sexually molested as a child. A teenage boy in their neighborhood forced Hernandez to perform oral sex on him beginning when Hernandez was 6 years old and continuing for several years.

Hernandez attended Bristol Central High School where he played varsity football. He was also on the track and basketball team. He started as a wide receiver before switching over to a tight end. When he was a senior in high school he was named “Gatorade Football Player of the Year”. Aaron was considered the top tight end recruit in 2007. That same year he committed to play at the University of Connecticut alongside D.J. He later reneged and committed to play at the University of Florida under coach Urban Meyer (He later became the coach of Ohio State and has recently moved up to the NFL to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars). Meyer flew to Connecticut and somehow convinced Bristol Central’s principal to allow Hernandez to graduate more than a semester early. Wow, okay, special treatment much?

Early graduation allowed Aaron to move to Florida, join the team, and learn the playbook shortly after turning 17. Meanwhile, my ass was still struggling to pass Algebra 2! I had to graduate with everyone else. I’m sorry we aren’t all special, Aaron! If you haven’t figured it out, I graduated in 2007 as well. I’m 9 months older than Aaron Hernandez. This is probably one of the reasons I had been following this story so closely. I was stunned that someone who was the same age as myself could throw their whole life away. When all of this went down, we were both mere babies at the ripe age of 23. I had just found the love of my life, was preparing to move out on my own, started being able to go to the bars with my brother (who had just turned 21), and had my first big girl job. I couldn’t imagine making the amount of money Hernandez was making at that age and he just threw it all away, in a senseless act of violence. At the age of 27, I was a newlywed, basking in the glow of now being able to call my fiancée my husband and Aaron Hernandez had ended his life. It really baffles me. Please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t pity this man, not in the least. I just don’t get it.

Meyer was aided in the recruitment by Steve Addazio, a Connecticut native, and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow (who had a stint in the NFL himself before being a total flop and switching to play in the MLB). Hernandez’s principal later said that Meyer and Addazio were persuasive and heavily pressured Hernandez, and in retrospect, it was a mistake to allow him to graduate early. Academically Hernandez was not prepared for college and took some courses at Santa Fe Community College. Many other players Meyer had convinced to come to Florida early would end up doing the same thing. As a freshman, Hernandez started three games for the Florida Gators. He finished the season with nine receptions for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Even though he performed well as a freshman he would end up being benched during the season opener of his sophomore year after failing a drug test. After that little mishap, he would end up starting in eleven of the thirteen games during the 2008 season.

As a junior in 2009 Hernandez won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end. During his final game as a Florida Gator, he threw the ball into the stands to celebrate a touchdown. The excessive display risked a personal foul penalty, but professional teams saw an athlete with little to lose if he chose to go into the National Football League instead of returning for another year of collegiate (like that fancy word? Don’t be impressed, I watch a lot of ESPN.) football. Hernandez later admitted that he was high on drugs every time he took the field. And at one point Meyer had wanted to remove Hernandez from the team for his chronic marijuana use but relented after an appeal from Tebow. However, after finishing his junior year Meyer informed Aaron that he would not be allowed to return for a fourth year and that he needed to enter the 2010 NFL draft if he wanted to continue playing. Urban Meyer would later say that he found Hernandez to be a “distressed person” when he arrived on campus and that he tried to help steer him in the right direction. You can only do so much and after a while, Urban gave up on the young man.

On January 6, 2010, Hernandez announced that he was foregoing his senior year and would enter the NFL draft. I don’t think he had much of a choice, Meyer had already decided for him. He attended the NFL scouting combine but was unable to perform any physical drills after tearing a muscle in his back. That sounds super f painful. On March 17, 2010, he attended Florida’s pro day and was able to perform all of the combine drills. I honestly thought it would take much longer for a torn muscle to heal but I guess it depends on the degree of the tear. On pro day Hernandez was able to complete 30 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press. Shit, I’m in the gym struggling to complete like 4 repetitions of 40 pounds. Nobody likes a show-off Aaron! Real quick, is it just me or does 2010 seem like it was ages ago?

In the 2010 NFL draft, Aaron Hernandez was selected in the fourth round, (going 113th overall) by the New England Patriots, despite them having signed Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski the day before. Have you guys ever seen Gronk? He is a monster of a man, he is massive, I bet he could eat Hernandez for breakfast. Despite being considered a top tight end prospect, multiple teams reportedly chose not to draft Hernandez because “he was a problem.” They have no idea how right they would end up being. On June 8, 2010, the Patriots signed Hernandez to a four-year, $2.37 million contract that included a signing bonus of $200,000. I want someone to give me $200,000 just for signing my name! Any takers? He could have gotten a $500,000 signing bonus like most of the other Patriots players but the team capped him at $200,000 as a “precautionary measure”. During training camp, Aaron Hernandez competed against, Rob Gronkowski, Alge Crumpler, and Rob Myers for the starting tight end position. Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck named Hernandez third tight end on the team’s depth chart. Hernandez was used as the receiving tight end option and Crumpler was put in for any plays that required blocking. At only 20 years old Hernandez started the 2010 season as the youngest player on any active roster in the NFL. On September 19, 2010, he made six receptions for a total of 101 receiving yards against the New York Jets in Week 2. Hernandez became the youngest player since 1960 to have more than 100 receiving yards in a single game.

Hernandez was inactive for the last two games of the 2010 season due to a hip injury. On February 21, 2011, he underwent surgery. A little fun fact here: Aaron Hernandez wore number 85 his rookie year but when Chad Johnson arrived from the Bengals during training camp Hernandez immediately let him have the number and switched back to his college number of 81 (which had been previously worn by Randy Moss). He was almost obligated to give Chad number 85. At the time the dude had legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco for Christ’s sake, but that is a whole other shit show within itself. At the time Johnson and Hernandez both claimed no compensation was arranged and the transaction was a kind gesture between teammates and nothing more. Hernandez’s attorney, Jose Baez, later claimed that Hernandez saw an opportunity after the arrival of Johnson and offered number 85 to Johnson for $75,000. Baez also claimed that Johnson countered with a $50,000 offer that Hernandez accepted. That money was reportedly used to finance a wholesale marijuana purchase by Hernandez for his cousin’s husband, T.L. Singleton, who later paid Hernandez back $120,000 for the loan. Damn, Aaron charged interest, okay go ahead and secure that bag dude.

Many of Hernandez’s teammates did not get along with him and he had little to no friends in the Patriots locker room. Tom Brady (former Patriot’s quarterback, that f dip shit) was once overheard after a game telling Tim Tebow (Hernandez’s college quarterback) that he was trying to steer Hernandez in the right direction but called him “a lot to handle. No matter how they felt about Aaron his teammates all agreed that he was one of the hardest-working players on the team. Many of his fellow Patriots said that Hernandez was often desperate for attention and at times seemed “unhinged.” Coach Belichick was at the end of his rope (that was probably a real shit choice of words on my part) with Hernandez by June 2013 and intended to notify the front office to have Hernandez released from the team. This was the beginning of the end for the troubled boy from Connecticut and getting released from the team would end up being the least of his problems.

That is all I have for you this time around folks! Tune in next time for the riveting conclusion of this story! You all probably know how it ends but humor me and read the next article, okay?

Sources:

Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez – Jose Baez

“Aaron Hernandez timeline: From murders and trials to prison suicide” – Sporting News

“The Secret Life of Aaron Hernandez” – YouTube

“Killer Inside: The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez” – Netflix

“Aaron Hernandez: An ID Murder Mystery – Investigation Discovery

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