Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (81) runs out on the field before the start of the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Hernandez: Patriot's Way gives way to can of worms

It’s called a can of worms, and it’s label reads “81”

According to the Urban Dictionary, to say that one has opened a can of worms for themselves means that they have gotten themselves in a tricky situation which will require a great deal of effort to resolve.

With this being true, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez may want to hide any and all can openers, because there appears to be more than one can in his cupboard…

For the second day in a row, police showed up at the Hernandez residence in North Attleborough, this time as part of an effort to recover the weapon used to kill 27 year old Odin Lloyd, an associate of the Patriots’ star tight end, who was found less than a mile from the home with a bullet hole in his head.

Search parties combed the woods and front yards of homes between the crime scene and Hernandez’s home – which yielded a gun not believed to be the sought after firearm, which is disturbing enough in itself, but nothing compared to the fact that the search went no further than Hernandez’s front door…

…coupled with the news that Hernandez was being sued by another associate for a February shooting in which the alleged victim reportedly lost an eye and the use of his right arm – Hernandez pointing a gun that he didn’t have a permit for and discharged it into the man’s arm after the two men left a Florida strip club, reportedly in a midst of a heated argument, suggests a disturbing coincidence, at the very least.

Human nature dictates that trust is a most difficult concept for many, and things like this is why.  But in 2010 when Bill Belichick told us that his 4th round draft pick was a steal for the team, and the fact that he was a pot head didn’t make any difference in the grand scheme, we believed him…

…and why not?  Bill brought us shiny trophies, and it turned out ok, right?  Good enough for Robert Kraft to offer a historic contract extension for the New England native – which deepened our trust, because Kraft insists on players of good conscience and proper behavior regardless of talent level, and don’t we all trust him implicitly?

So how disappointed did Kraft have to be when les flics descended on Hernandez’s posh crib not far from Kraft’s offices at Gillette Stadium armed with search warrants and tales of dark malfeasance – hoping to explain why a young acquaintance of Hernandez was found not a mile from his home with a bullet in his brain?

How discouraged did Bill Belichick have to be that his not so secret weapon was responsible for a rental car that was somehow a key piece of evidence in a murder investigation, and now instead of playing football on Sundays may instead be entertaining visitors in the prison commons?

How mortified were they both when they found out that the man that they trusted and invested $40 million in to secure his services and were expecting pro bowl quality performance from his enormous potential, is in fact a potential multiple felon with a gun fetish?

And how disheartened are the fans who counted on Hernandez being on the field, eventually teaming with bookend Rob Gronkowski to form the most formidable two tight end attack in the NFL – and instead may become no more than a bitterly disappointing trivia question?  Not even taking into account how the recent events impact his immediate family?

Hernandez’s sudden and shocking fall from grace in the perception of the public has been so abrupt that not even adrenalin junkies can make sense of it – but that’s where this thing sits at the moment, leaving much in a capricious state…

…but one thing is certain: Hernandez’s actions, whether he is innocent or guilty of the heinous crime, has let down his boss, his coach, his team and his fans, and has every other fan base from coast to coast – and every media outlet in the country trashing the image of the Patriot way.

And not just for the events of the past couple of days, but for anything that comes from the incident in Florida – and it would surprise no one if Hernandez would have to answer questions regarding concealed weapons and lack of proper permits to carry such, not to mention discharging the thing at his friend.

It really doesn’t matter if he was involved in the killing.  Public perception has convicted him already, because just the fact that every filthy path leads back to his front door, and his reported non-cooperative attitude with the investigation along with the fact that things are being carried out of his house in big boxes marked “evidence” has to give even the most ardent of Patriots’ followers pause.

And with the news breaking that he apparently has a history with settling arguments with hot lead, the media and public already have an orange jumpsuit picked out for him, Massachusetts Inmate number 00000081…

Tags: Aaron Hernandez New England Patriots Odin Lloyd

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