Maurice Clarett was the tailback on Ohio State’s 2002 national championship team. His life fell apart at the seams after that season. ESPN has done a video segment on what he’s up to these days: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5523789
If you’re not familiar with college football, Ohio State is the archrival of my alma mater, the University of Michigan Wolverines. I remember a few years back, hearing a story about Clarett being arrested in a car with an open bottle of vodka and a pile of automatic weapons in the trunk, and making a cruel wisecrack about it to my Michigan friends. I felt justified in doing it because Clarett wasn’t a human being to me; he was a football star. Tom Brady is a football star. Peyton Manning is a football star. Celebrities are considered a different species in American culture, deserving both fanatic worship and outrageous slander. But I’m always fascinated, and moved, when I hear about a story where the walls between celebrity and humanity come crashing down.