Discussion in 'D.C. United' started by dcuni_ted, Jun 13, 2008.
And we should continue to be part of his 18,000 plus support group.
Sounds like a banner to me.
I hope Tino beats the crappy odds and continues to stay clean and sober.
It is a huge daily challenge, particularly for the first 3 years or so.
Getting sober isnt just putting down the drugs of choice, it's learning how to live without them as a tool, and finding healthy tools to deal instead.
One Day At a Time, man.
Yeah, I am wondering what his reception will be today. I have a feeling it will be...emotional.
First off huge credit to Quaranta for recognizing he needed help and going out and getting it and putting his life back together and helping support his family. And credit to his Mrs. for sticking with him. That couldn't have been easy and it's obvious she loves him. Tino is very lucky to have someone like that.
Second, credit to Goff for a great piece of work. Well done.
And while I agree with Matt that United's front office deserves some credit for giving the kid a second chance, I think this article raises some very disturbing issues about how poorly DCU, MLS and US Soccer handled this kid's development, both on and off the field.
They yank this kid out of HS in Brandenton - this, after US Soccer took him out of HS in Baltimore - throw him a lot of money (for a teenager) and then seem to do very little to help him learn how to handle it all or to prepare himself for life as a grown-up.
I know they had tutors for him to finish HS, but quite frankly he should never have been allowed to continue to play if he hadn't done so. The fact that more than 7 years after he was drafted he still hasn't gotten his HS diploma doesn't speak well for how the team and league followed up with the kid and were committed to putting his long-term interests above his ability to play.
Then there's the issue with the painkillers. It's no secret that stuff is addicted. I had ankle surgery and I can tell you I was sad to see the last of my percocet go. But I was also 40-years old when I was taking it and my doctors made sure I didn't have too much of it.
If the team's doctors are giving out enough of this stuff that it becomes addictive to a player, someone isn't following up enough. (Not the first time there's been an issue raised about the team's medical staff.)
And then there's the issue with the money. It sounds like the kid has blown much of the six-figue a year he was making for the first part of his MLS career. Yeah, that's not a set-for-life salary but who was there to help the kid with his money and have him invest it and basically save an immature kid from being, well, an immature kid?
Isn't it possible that if Quaranta's money was being managed better and, say, tied up in investments, that A) he wouldn't have had as much to blow on drugs and B) he's have more of it now?
This is not to absolve Santino or his family from their share of responsibilities. The baby out of wedlock and not making sure he finished HS are much more on him and them than the team or league. But the team or league knew this was the circumstance with Quaranta, that he didn't come from the greatest background and that decision-making wasn't exactly his forte.
And yet he was just allowed to plow along on a path of self-destruction that United and MLS helped put him on without a lot of intervention because hey, he was an all-star and helping sell tickets and win MLS Cup 04 and play for the national team, etc...
My greatest hope is that MLS, DC United and US Soccer learn from this circumstance and create better support systems for their young players. You'd like to think they have, but this is also the same trioka that totally pimped out a 14-year old Freddy Adu and put marketing above the kid's best interests. So it's not like this is exactly an isolated incident.
Again, huge credit to Quaranta for getting his life back in order and big ups to Goff for a job well done telling the story and a nod to DCU for giving Tino a second chance. But we're doing the team, its players, Quaranta and ourselves as supporters a disservice if we don't hold the team accountable for having dropped the ball on handling the circumstances that led to this situation.
I edited out a lot of your post because I'm only responding specifically to this bit.
Who's to say that the doctors gave him any more than they gave you? I can tell you that at that age I had access to any drugs I might have wanted if I had the money to pay. It's likely that he liked the ones he got from the doctor, and then got more for himself -- Far more likely than the doctor giving him unsafe amounts directly.
That was exactly what I thought when I read this article.
Great post - pretty much sums up my thoughts as well, with one addition: the article also reinforces what an incredible leader and friend Ben Olsen is.
I somehow feel a lot more optimistic about Santino's chances of finally having a breakout season.
I wish him the best of luck in what will be a lifelong endeavor.
Great work from Goff.
more to come in his blog:
In the next few days here on the Insider, I will share with you additional material from Santino and others that did not fit into the print-edition article.
When the starters are announced tonight, how about a prolonged, standing ovation for Tino?
For those who don't get the print edition:
I think you are right the article says several times that the doctor gave him 20 to 30 pills and he used them in a day. That sounds like about what you get for an injury and then you have to get a refill if it's still bothering you.
I know one person who will be standing.
I am surprised by how much this story affected me. I always thought Tino was a ton of talent wasted, now I know why.
Let's hope his new addictions are to running and crossing practice.
I am too lazy to quote it but I don't think the training staff is in line for much legitimate criticism here.
Tino plainly says that he didn't start gobbling them 10 at a time, it was gradual. By the time he was seriously addicted a prescription just saved him one trip to his dealer.
Been there done that and don't want to go back. As a recovered alcoholic/addict I find it refreshing that Tino can speak so candidly about his disease. Most in the recovery community frown on public admissions and explanations of what they're going through. My late sponsor was a true "Old Timer" and at the time of his death had 52 years of sobriety. He actually meet Bill Wilson at an AA meeting. No one knew he was a recovering alcoholic.
But for me it was different. I had to let everyone and anyone know to keep myself from falling back into the secretive mindset that got me in trouble in the first place. IOW, being too proud to let people know I was in trouble almost killed me. After this piece I know it's the same for Tino. For us addicts it isn't about courage, it's about staying alive. God bless you, Tino. Stay alive, brother. It gets better. Much better!
I think the medical profession needs to look at the way they deal with pain killers. I broke my leg horribly in 2000 and was given Oxycontin for pain. Not word one from my Dr. about any risks associated with the thing. I've lived a squeaky clean life (outside of drinking alcohol in moderation), but minutes after my first dose of Oxycontin I can remember thinking to myself, "I could do this forever". My wife and friends commented that I was hilariously funny when taking the stuff (not normal for me;-)). The stuff made me feel awesome. I remember telling my Dr. that I was afraid I could get addicted. He literally laughed and said you can't get addicted to this stuff.
I took the things for about a week (2 per day) and I was waking up in sweats during the middle of the night the first night I stopped taking them. It took about a week for that to stop. I told my Dr. and he just brushed it off and said I was being dramatic. I still have one pill left over that I didn't need to take. It's in my bathroom and I check it out every so often and think how good it made me feel. No doubt this, "hillbilly heroine" hooks tons of people.
Tremendous courage from Tino in admitting the problem, sticking with the treatment, and going public with it.
The depth that he went in with Goff gives a shocking story of how bad it got. Tino's a good guy, I'm glad he got a second chance, I'm wishing him the best.
Lots of great comments here, but I wanted to echo this about Ben Olsen. That guy continues to impress with his behavior as a man. Keeping close contact with Santino had to be incredibly helpful for him during his rehab. This combined with the support demonstrated by Jaime Moreno shows what a pair of absolute diamonds we have been lucky to have in our club for so many years.
Kudos to Ben & Jaime.
I remember reading an article a few months back in which he didn't actually use the word drugs but he definitely implied doing things one shouldn't do so I kind of figured when I read that he was on something.
In most leagues around the world, teams try to silence the drug addictions with players. I know AC Milan's Andrea Pirlo had entered drug rehab vecause of a cocain addiction but everyone else thought he wasn't playing because he was injured.
As others have said, this really explains a lot. The rumors have been floating around for years on here and regardless of if it was right or wrong of some people to bring them up I think a lot of people expected something along these lines. It's very brave for Santino to come out about this and his support group has just grown substantially.
I go back and forth on this issue.
On one hand, the point you're making above resonates, and there's no question that a lot of people get addicted because of the comparative ease with which one can often obtain painkillers from doctors.
On the other hand, there are lots of people in extreme pain who already have a pretty tough time getting them. That's the end that my personal experience comes from. My sister fought cancer, and the damage done to her body from aggressive radiation treatments (she had to have a colostomy not because of the cancer, but because of radiation damage to her colon), for five years before she died in 2003. During that time, she went through near-constant agonizing pain that most of us thankfully will never encounter. She was on prescription assistance programs -- she was very poor at the time -- and within those programs, there was real fear about abuse. But the fear wasn't fear that the patients would abuse the drugs; it was fear that the DEA would make legitimate prescription difficult while trying to prevent abuse. Kathie had difficulty obtaining Oxycontin, despite the fact that it helped somewhat and lower-grade meds (like Fentanyl) didn't, because doctors were afraid of being hassled by the DEA. Morphine, which made her almost pain-free, wasn't covered by the program at all, and the reason we were given for this was because of the War on Drugs. We were told we had to come up with $700 a week just to pay for her uncovered morphine expenses. More than once I wondered if it'd have been cheaper to find it on the street. Even in hospice, increasing her dosage was hard, because the supervising physician was afraid of the government. When she died, one of my strongest emotions was gladness that her pain was finally over.
I don't want it to be so easy for people to get hooked on painkillers. But I don't want legitimate uses to be affected either. And I wish the government could wrap their minds around the idea that when someone is dying anyway, and they're in agonizing pain, who cares about their risk of addiction to painkillers?
WOW! - A sobering and yet ultimately uplifting story - Tino's always been one of my favorites from the very beginning - I had always thought he was prone to go soft on himself in conditioning and I had always thought chronic injuries were the major contributor to his lack of potential fulfillment - But he always remained a favorite - I met him several years ago at the pre-season luncheon and he remembered me this spring as well - Great courage to come public with this - And, despite how much we might revile him for some of his coverage of the team, a great reporting job by Goff
And ultimately Kudos to Ben & Jaime - This is what captains do
(now if they can only sit down and have a nice calm, private chat with Peralta and Wells)
Not sure if anybody responded to this yet but he will not be on the field when they announce the starters. This year, they changed things and announce them before they enter the field. I hate it and it has become a pet peeve for me.
We will have to start a chant when they enter the field or kick the balls into the stands. I figure Tino will come the way of the supporters.
I read that Tino piece in the paper and Ben Olsen is right, alcoholics and addicts have a way of telling people everything is cool, saying the right things and telling you what you want to hear. When I used, I used to do that all the time with family.
I'm blessed with 19 plus years sobriety and each day I take time to say prayers for myself, my friends who are sober and I'll add Tino in my prayers. I'm glad the DC FO gave him a second chance and he's got a new fan now. Day at a time Tino. God bless.
To understate the obvious, that was ballsy of him to go public with all that. As stated before, the fact that he did means that he's serious about staying clean. No one would reveal something that heavy and humiliating to the world if they weren't serious about overcoming addiction and avoiding such behavior. As has also been stated, we're all fortunate to be followers of a club with the class to give him another chance and the intelligence to note his talent, and that has two absolute top men like Olsen and Moreno (and others, I'm sure) to support Tino through his ordeal. Of course, Tino is the most fortunate by far, to still have his career, his family, and most of all, his life, back in his hands. Nothing but love and good luck to him and his. It may not be entirely over, but he's in a much better place than before.
this is a great post... one of the best ive ever read on BS... rep!
It's an important part of recovery - being honest with yourself and others about your addiction.
Massive respect for Tino.