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Gunther Cunningham pledges to be Nick Fairley’s father figure

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In light of Nick Fairley's recent arrest for DUI and a past arrest for marijuana possession, Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham is taking a special interest in Fairley's future. His approach will be very hands-on, and very fatherly. From Carlos Monarrez at the Detroit Free Press:

"As far as Nick is concerned, he knows this is going to be personal between the two of us," Cunningham said. [...] "And I say that like a father. […] He was surprised because I didn't tongue-lash him for about two hours. But I knew he'd already gotten that from eight different people. So I took the approach that I'm going to take care of him."

That's a really wonderful attitude from Coach Cunningham. Because football isn't always about what happens on the field. It's about what happens in the heart. And maybe head coach Jim Schwartz is good with the X's and O's of the 3-4 defense, but that's not always enough. Maybe Nick Fairley and Gunther Cunningham need someone else to help navigate the X's and O's of this tempest of swirling emotion that we call life. Maybe for this, they need the wisdom of Mr. George Michael.

I will be your father figure
Put your tiny hand in mine
I will be your preacher teacher
Anything you have in mind
I will be your father figure
I have had enough of crime
I will be the one who loves you
Until the end of time

We have all had enough of crime, Nick.

The obvious Wham!-to-football connection aside, Fairley should consider himself pretty lucky. What most people get after a DUI and a possession arrest is bounced out of a job and the middle finger from society. Fairley gets an assurance about his starting spot and a pledge of support from a guy as well-respected as Gunther Cunningham.

It's up to Fairley now to take advantage of the situation he's so blessed to be in ‒ to, so to speak, put his tiny hand in Gunther's. He's got this amazing opportunity to be an NFL superstar, then two free passes after two attempts to blow it, and now, he's got a new father figure in Gunther Cunningham. Not many people get those kinds of advantages after so many missteps. Let's hope Nick Fairley makes the most of it.

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