Brandon Spikes could see Aaron Hernandez — now serving a life sentence in prison — was headed down the wrong path. He just couldn’t stop it.
Spikes, who played four seasons in New England, was a teammate of Hernandez’s. Now a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, he tells Shutdown Corner’s Eric Edholm they still keep in touch. But when asked about the criminal activity that landed Hernandez in jail, Spikes wishes he could’ve imparted to his friend that he was hanging around the wrong people before it was too late.
“You know, we use to talk about this all the time. Like, ‘Hey, change your life, you’ve got the wrong people around you.’ I know that because of my older brother. I watched him keep this [type of] people around. Look where it got him. (Spikes’ brother Breyon Middlebrooks is serving a life sentence for murder). It’s like, ‘Don’t be that guy.’”
Hernandez’s crime might be the most egregious act ever tied the NFL. The former Florida Gators tight end posted 1,956 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Patriots, who rewarded their budding star with a huge contract extension. Not long after, Hernandez was being investigated for the homicide of Odin Lloyd, and eventually was found guilty of murder in the first degree. It was a shocking development, especially as more stories of Hernandez’s misdeeds came to light. In reality, Spikes thinks Hernandez sealed his own fate.
“I can’t really feel sorry for you, because you knew!” Spikes said. “How else can it end? You can change (your wayward friends)? Nah, I mean, they don’t have anything to lose. You have everything to lose. I just think about that.”
Spikes’ friendship with Hernandez influences how he views the circumstances that led to Hernandez’s downfall. But due to the fact that Hernandez was no stranger of running afoul of the law, he, in fact, could be categorized as one of “wrong people” Spikes was referring to.
In any event, Hernandez wasted his NFL career. Worse than that is the way his actions ruined the lives of others. At the end of the day, there’s only one person to blame for that.