This is a very special blog on the AAN Sports Scene and we hope you read it through and will get the same feelings I did writing it. It is one story of sadness, one of stupidity and one that is very inspirational.
This was one of the most saddening stories of the past week among so many sports stories. This one, the suicide death of former All Pro NFL player Junior Seau, sent shock waves throughout the entire sports world.
Seau, who was just 43, died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the heart. When his old team, the San Diego Chargers, received the news there was disbelief, when it announced on local and national TV and radio shows there was shock. How could this happen to a young man who had given so much to the NFL, to the community and to life?
Since Seau’s death millions of questions and theories have been asked and raised. Of course the number one question is did the concussions he suffered in his years in the NFL become the leading cause? I’m no doctor, but after reading so much on the damage to the brain from repeated concussions in a violent sport, you have to think that there is definitely something to that – especially with deaths to so many other players who have died at a young age. Seau is the 8th player from the Chargers to die before the age of 45, that has to say something. It’s not just the players who have died by their own hand, but the players who are still alive and having all kinds of depression, memory, and other physical problems brought on by all of this physical sport.
The NFL continues to say they are looking into making the game safer. But are they doing enough? Studies are being done to see what the long term trauma these concussion do bring and what can be done to stop it. Former Bear Dave Duerson (also a a self inflicted gunshot death) had his brain donated for study. The Seau family has announced that they will do the same so that hopefully they will find answers as to why these men, who gave their hearts, souls and lives are no longer with us. We may never find the real answers to this mystery regarding concussions and deaths, but something must be done and done now!
To NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell I will say this. You, and your successor “Paul Tagliabooboo”, have walked over the retired, injured and dead players long enough. You have fucked them over when it came to money and benefits and taking care of your own. If it wasn’t for those greats of the game, you wouldn’t be in the cushy position you are today. Get off your egomaniacal ass and take care of the players and do it the right way, the way it should have been done years ago. Do something that will protect the players of today and tomorrow in the NFL.
We do NOT need another Junior Seau leaving this world way to early because you don’t care or give a damn. Spin your PR anyway you want, but the fact is you have ignored this situation and there are hundreds of families of former NFL players who will hold you responsible until you do the right thing.
To Junior Seau and his family, my profound sympathies and condolences for your loss not only as a former NFL great, but more important as a son, father, friend, community leader and good person. RIP Junior, you are finally at peace with your world.
Back in 2008 the Tampa Bay Rays had done all their homework, and then some before deciding on their #1 pick in the draft. While many felt FSU’s Buster Posey would be it, the Rays took a high school shortstop out of Griffin, Georgia by the name of Tim Beckham.
He had been lauded as the #1 prospect by the esteemed publication “Baseball America”, by rival scouts, GM’s and others in the game. His play in the field were what stories were made from, what dreams can be made from. He came from a very good, upstanding Christian family, He had all the values that Rays look for in their players, not just as athletes but as citizens as well. He was the shortstop of the future for the Rays and many felt that by 2013 he would be a regular in the strong Rays lineup, a team that has gone to the post season three of the past four years.
His days in the minors were a slow progression, but there was evidence of improvement for this 18 year old and by the time he was 21 many felt he would be ready to show the ML, and the Rays what he could do. He moved through system from Class A, to Double A where there was improvement. There was a bump along the road with a suspension for drug use, marijuana. He took the suspension, did all the right things to get back to the game he loved. After all, he was just an 18 year old kid. But not just any 18 year old, he had money, was building his name and he his sights set on being in the ML playing with and against the names he watched growing up in Georgia.
He came back, looked good, looked dedicated was moved to Triple A Durham in 2011 and had a very good season, his best so far and again was touted the shortstop of the future. In spring training 2012 he made a big impression on Rays manager Joe Maddon and the players with his mental and physical growth and preparedness and they knew he was not far away and when the season began. Beckham was sent to Durham to get more experience, but the timetable was running and even Tim knew that Tropicana Field wasn’t that far away and this was his time to show he belonged.
Now that stay at the Trop just might be further away if at all. You see, Tim, now 22, had a relapse and was once again suspended for 50 games due to drug use. The Rays have not made any statement on Tim’s future with the Rays, but they are extremely disappointed in him, as is his family. It is known that the Ray’s organization goes out of their way to get their troubled players all the help they need to fight the demons they have, some have worked, some haven’t. What will happen in Tim’s case is up in the air right now and what his future with the Rays is also a question mark at this time.
We can only hope that he will take the suspension and time away from the game he loves to reassess his life choices and priorities, get the help he needs from professionals, the Rays and his family and gather all support he can muster. He is too young and too good a talent to let drugs just toss it all away and the Rays will be there to help all they can, just as they were for Josh Hamilton, Dewon Brazleton, Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes and a few others. Hamilton, even though he now plays in Texas is a success story of beating the demons, the rest aren’t and probably never will be. Time for you to choose Mr. Beckham, which path do you want to follow? As a father, I have two words for you that I used many times with my two boys…….Grow up!
In week of sports stories that saddened us, made us shake our heads and wonder what would come next there was one very inspirational story that came along. It was a story that told us all about the good in sports and the goodness of mankind in sports we never hear enough about.
Greg Schiano came into coach a barely known and relatively lousy Rutgers team 11 years ago and over the years he built the Rutgers program into one of national prominence. His coaching style was very NFL style, but on a smaller scale, he turned boys into men and he made them not only better football players, but better men. There isn’t a former Rutgers player who won’t tell you they wouldn’t go through a brick wall for this man. He was more than coach, he was a friend, a father figure, a confidante, he was, to many, family. He spent time with players and their families giving up his free time to help in any way he could to make his players be better people in class and off the field. He would finally see Rutgers players wearing NFL uniforms like the Ravens Ray Rice who has nothing but respect and love for Schiano and all he did for him. Greg Schiano was something very special to the football program at Rutgers and to the game of life when it came to those players.
One of those players was Eric LeGrand a young, very talented player who would go one to be one of the fiercest defensive players in college football who NFL written all over him. During his time at Rutgers as a defensive tackle he recorded 60 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries, but then it all came to an end in a game against Army in 2010 when he was paralyzed from a crushing blow to the spine and was paralyzed from the neck down.
His dreams of the NFL were over, or were they? Not if Greg Schiano had anything to do with it. Schiano would spend his off hours relieving Eric’s mother Karen at the hospital to stay with Eric so she could go home and rest and do what she needed to do.
Schiano left Rutgers to take on the head coaching job of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it was immediate that he was just what the Bucs needed, a strong, dedicated coach who could turn this young team around. They had no idea just how dedicated, honest he was. Greg never lost touch with Eric LeGrand, they talked on the phone for hours every week, he made trips to New Jersey to see him, spend time with him and Eric’s family, he helped them financially and he never let Eric’s faith and belief in the game he loved waiver. Then Greg Schiano did something unheard of. With the blessing of the team owners, the Glazers and GM Mark Domenic, he had the Bucs sign Eric as a free agent to a regular NFL Buccaneers player contract.
When the announcement was made in front of a packed news conference at One Buc Place Schiano simply said, “This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance,” Schiano said in a release by the team. “The way Eric lives his life epitomizes what we are looking for in Buccaneer Men.”
LeGrand, who is finishing his studies in broadcasting at Rutgers was beside himself with happiness and wore that ever present smile of his throughout the press conference making an immediate hit with the local and national media. Even with the tragedy, his zest for life is something healthy people could take a big lesson from.
For three days Eric watched the NFL draft from his motorized wheelchair at home in New Jersey. He was happy to see his former teammate, receiver Mohamed Sanu, selected by Cincinnati.”This was his class, he would’ve been in this draft,” his mother, Karen, said. “He watched the draft and he never let it get to him. But he said to me at one time, “That could’ve been me.” More than 1,100 miles to the south, Bucs coach Greg Schiano was thinking the same thing and thanks to him, Eric’s dream lives on. He will have his #52 jersey with the Bucs as he did in Rutgers. Oh, and one more ironic twist. When did Eric get the news from Schiano? he called him on May2 (5-2)!
These are the kinds of stories that make you believe there is good in mankind when there are so many wrongs. It is an uplifting story of integrity, love, bond, feelings and of two real men and it won’t end here. Greg Schiano and Eric LeGrand are bound together for the rest of their lives by the games of football and life. I for one am glad that we have men like Greg Schiano, and a young gentleman like Eric LeGrand in our midst, not only with the Buccaneers, but in our everyday lives.
To read the whole inspirational story please go here: http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/tampa-bay-buccaneers-sign-former-rutgers-dt-eric-legrand-paralyzed-in-a/1228005
Have a wonderful, safe and entertaining weekend and thanks for reading our blog every day!
Art Koch, National Features & DVD Editor, NightMoves magazine and AANShare This!
Tagged with: Big East • Bradenton Herald • Durham Bulls • Eric LeGrand • ESPN • ESPN News • Fox Sports • Gre Schiano • Junior Seau • Mongomery Biscuits • msn • msnbc • NFL • Rutgers University • San Diego Chargers • Tampa Bay Bucanners • Tampa Bay Rays • Tampa bay Times • Tampa tribune • Tim Beckham • Yahoo sports
New York, NY – May 20, 2013 – Suicide Girl Lux Suicide [...]
New York, NY – May 23, 2013 – The Starr Sisters, Natasha and Natalia Starr, [...]
Lesbian Analingus 2- Sweetheart Video’s giving fans the much demanded second installment of Analingus. Starring [...]
If you have the money she has the time to make all of your sexual [...]
White & Black Studs Indulge in Some ‘Furry Delight’ with All-Natural, Hairy Girls! May [...]
The XRCO Awards, much like other awards shows, has moved around over the years, [...]
This past weekend Carole and I and 31 other couples enjoyed a “hotel takeover” weekend [...]
The new Xbox One was introduced yesterday by Microsoft. The gaming system is set to [...]
Back in the golden age of porn in the 70’s and early to mid [...]
She was born in New Jersey in March 1952 and was raised in an Army [...]