Two days have passed since the apparent suicide of Tennessee Titans wide receiver, O.J Murdock. And yet, despite all of the admirable efforts from authorities and family members to figure out what drove a promising young athlete to shoot himself outside his high school, we are no closer to answering the why question now than we were when this incident first went down.
According to NFL.com Murdock left a suicide note, but at the moment it looks like that will remain private. What does that mean for the curious public? Well, it means that the only thing we have to go on right now is the contact he made with coaches and reporters before his death.
Yahoo! Sports compiled all of his communication from the final day. Via them:
Murdock did make a few communications before his death. Via the Tampa Bay Times, he texted his receivers coach at Fort Hays State, Al McCray, at 3:30 a.m.
"It was like, 'Coach, I appreciate everything you've done for me and my family.' At the end of the text he said, 'I apologize.' I figured he's apologizing because he texted me so early."
A former high school coach also got a call. From TBO.com:
One of his former coaches at Memorial Middle Schoolreach, Aesha Bailey, spoke to Murdock by phone just before his death. She was the first to find him Monday morning in his car.
On the phone, "He just kept saying 'I'm sorry, coach. I'm sorry,'" said Bailey, a former star athlete in the county before joining the teaching ranks. "That's all he said."
Bill Ward, a local sports writer who covered Murdock in high school, got a text, too, at 6:03 a.m.
"Hey Mr Ward, it's OJ Murdock…. I just want to thank u for everything you've done for me and my family. Can't thank you enough."
Ward replied to Murdock at 9:57 a.m.:
"Hi O.J. Thanks for those kind words. Are you recovered from the Achilles and back in camp with the (Titans)?"
Murdock did not respond.
More information about what drove Murdock to this will inevitably come out in the next few months – that’s just the way this process works. And if nothing substantive or provable emerges, then the media will simply run with half-checked, largely-speculative rumors that it gets from those who knew the now-deceased Titans wide receiver.
Here is all we can say for certain and, really, all we may ever truly be able to say for certain: based on the messages he sent before pulling the trigger, it’s becoming increasingly harder to put the word ‘apparent’ before every mention of Murdock’s suicide.
He took his own life. Now we just need to know why.