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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

Aaron Hernandez: The Long Rise To A Fast Fall

Updated: May 18, 2023

Aaron Hernandez went from being on a championship caliber team to a murder conviction in just a span of several years.

Aaron Hernandez was born in Bristol, Connecticut on November 6th, 1989 and grew up surrounded by football and at one point in high school even basketball. Hernandez would attend Bristol Central High School and would spend his whole high school sporting career there. Hernandez would be seen as a hero to many and being born in a locally famous family he was in a way, pushed into the spotlight at a young age. As he grew older his brother DJ would end up playing college football for the famed UConn Huskies, that same team would offer Aaron a scholarship at 14-years old after he attended a training camp.

Everything looked bright for Aaron as he went into high school to play high school football. Making the Rams varsity team as a Sophomore Aaron Hernandez had a 284-yard receiving rookie season in 9 games and 28 catches. The 2005/06 season was a big one for the Junior with 1,807 yards receiving in 10 games with 24 touchdowns, he was unstoppable.

During the middle of his high school career Hernandez’s dad would pass away, which would bring sorrow to the community. It brought sorrow to everyone but Aaron Hernandez as he did not shed a single tear at his father’s wake. Aaron would then go live with his cousin, a much more free life he would end up having away from home. It would later be revealed that Hernandez grew up in an abusive household and once moving out he had more of a party life where he also experimented with drugs.

In the middle of death and moving Hernandez was also a star on his school’s basketball team his Junior year, averaging 25.9ppg in 9 total games. Going onto his Senior year football was the only thing on Hernandez's mind, up to this point Hernandez has suffered multiple concussions and at one point he was knocked out cold in a game. His senior year would be one of 1,387 yards combined in a 9-game span with 16 touchdowns, his high school career would end with 3,437 yards and 45 touchdowns in 28 games and 157 catches.

In the offseason getting ready for college Aaron Hernandez shocked the NCAA football world as he decided to go to the Florida Gators, leaving his UConn offer in the dust. Hernandez would team up with the famed Tim Tebow and both players would dominate, bringing the Gators to a championship. When not in games or at practice Aaron Hernandez was a partier, at one bar he would end up punching the owner in the head because he was asked to pay for the drinks he ordered. Hernandez would end up leaving the owner with a burst in his eardrum and that would then mark the start to his dangerous path full of violence and double life.

Aaron Hernandez was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 113th overall slot as a Tight End in the 2010 NFL Draft, he would go on to be one of the faces of the franchise with multiple receptions and touchdowns. 1,956 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns would mark a three year career for the young player along with multiple playoff games with touchdowns. In each of the three seasons Hernandez would miss multiple plays or even games due to injuries, mainly due to hitting his head but all looked bright for Hernandez.

In the 2013 NFL offseason Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged for the killing of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee. Hernandez was then connected to a double murder of two Boston partiers in 2012. All of this occurred while Hernandez was active in the NFL and just after he signed a contract worth over $35M with the Patriots. Hernandez was found guilty of the Odin Lloyd murder in the first degree and was later acquitted of the double murders of Boston partiers Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. During the trial it was also found that he had a double life as he also had a second home, a mini apartment in a complex where he would go to mainly do drugs. Overall there was no real motive to the killings that sadly took place, it would later come out that Hernandez was very paranoid and always kept guns on him and made secret rooms/cubbies in his house and car to keep the guns. Hernandez would end up actually shooting a close friend of his in the face after he brought up the Boston event, his friend survived and would later call Hernandez while in the hospital where Aaron acted like he never met him. After the killing of Lloyd Hernandez would then return to his multi-million dollar mansion and start doing mini dances in the rooms of his house, all of this was captured on his many security cameras that he installed in case he was ever attacked. One of the biggest signs was that there were still gun shell casings inside the car he rented once he returned it, all of this did not seem to affect Aaron Hernandez in any way. Once brought to jail he then bragged about how good looking his prison cell was and how much he loved it, he seemed happy in a way that he was there.

Hernandez would then be in and out of court over the next several years, which then led to his 2012 murder charge(s) acquittal. Aaron Hernandez smiled in the courtroom when the verdict was read in his favor, he would then hang himself just days later in his cell. At age 27 Aaron Hernandez was pronounced dead. It would later be found out in an autopsy that Hernandez suffered from severe CTE, a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have had a severe blow or repeated blows to the head, including football players who suffer concussions. It has been said that due to Hernandez’s CTE it caused him to not think correctly and commit those crimes.

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