Welcome to the Friday edition of the The Cooler. It’s going to be 100 degrees (or close to it) today. Stay inside, plunge your hand into the ice, and spend a few minutes here:
*If the Percy Harvin you think you knew from his Vikings days was the brash, electric, unreliable, game-changing force who more or less defined the rise and fall of that era, perhaps you should get to know another side of Harvin.
The former Vikings playmaker opens up for a long interview with MMQB, much of it an examination of the anxiety he has dealt with for years and the fallout from it. Per the piece:
Harvin starts with the painful stuff: the migraines he has endured since he was seven. “Take a hammer and beat it on the side of your head nonstop,” he says of the pain. “If you’re trying to relax, if someone’s trying to talk to you, that hammer is still going off. You’re trying to eat, still going off.” That pounding is linked, he says, to an anxiety disorder that has gripped him since he was a kid, which he didn’t even know he had until he broke in with the Vikings and started making regular visits to the Mayo Clinic. Kept confidential by the NFL’s medical protocols, and by his own protocols of manhood, the ailment caused Harvin to play most of his 79 NFL games on little or no sleep.
Harvin’s migraines were covered during his playing days, but the context added here is important — and another reminder that we never know the full extent of an individual’s struggle but virtually everyone is struggling with something.
We want athletes to flip a switch on playing days and shut out anything happening in their non-sports worlds — even as most of us realize that the stresses and struggles can have an impact on how we function in our jobs and lives.
“I create my own anxiety. That’s been my struggle,” Harvin said after a rough morning. “Once I sit back and relax, that’s where the growth is. Normally I would have been mad all day. Now I know how to reset.”
*Or, if you want to start your morning with a whole world of pain, you can check out MMQB’s oral history of the 1998 Vikings. My guess is that you don’t want to read this, but I will leave it here anyway.
*LeBron James is leaving the Cavaliers again. On one hand, you can’t blame him. On the other hand, it seems strange that the best player in NBA history will be changing teams for a third time.