In 1992, the New York Jets defensive end, Dennis Byrd, in a tragic second, hit head-first into his 275-pound teammate, shattering a vertebra, one of the 33 bones that make up the spine. In that moment, he was left on the field partially paralyzed… 19 years later, Byrd returns the #90 jersey, that was cut from his back on that 1992 day, to Coach Rex Ryan and the Jets’ organization.
Now while I don’t really understand the jersey returned sentiment (Can anyone help me with that?), I’m well aware of the emotional impact his presence made on the current Jets team. As the honorary captain for this playoff Jets team against the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers, Byrd re-energized the already awakened Jets with a speech for the ages. The profound and passionately significant point of Byrd’s speech resonated with me as a “must share” with readers.:
A man has a body, a mind and a spirit. There are times in a man’s life when his body will tell him it can’t continue on. There are times in a man’s life when his mind will tell him that the task set for him is too hard to accomplish. Those two don’t matter. It’s a man’s will and his spirit, and in those moments and in those times that will tell him ‘You can do it,’ and it will make the mind and body follow along.
While this is a powerful in-between-the-lines message, it is also such an impactful one to take into the most calm and tumultuous parts of every day life. This man told his personal story to this Jets team, a group of men in a completely different generation, where the men can typically be bigger and the hits can potentially be harder. But, they got the message. From all the lessons taught, speeches delivered, or plays drawn out, I believe the one common thread and driving force among them is simply the hope that they get it…
Okay, I was relaxing after a long day… Hanging out, watching Sports Center. The news came on that Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to misdemeanors surrounded around rape charges, but avoided jail time.
This Pro football Hall of Famer admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old runaway prostitute. He said that she told him she was 19 (Really? Okay, we’re not going to take that any further; Neither are we going to discuss his wife, Lynette.). So, no jail time, but along with serving 6 years of probation he has to register as a sex offender.
This former New York Giant isn’t new to trouble, but as his lawyer spoke to the media I had that dog-turn-my-head-to-the-side look… He reiterated the facts and then concluded that this was an unfortunate situation and that his client was not a sexual predator (Are you serious, Dude?). I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing, literally. Does he deserve to be on the list?
I know, I know… It’s been a minute. Haven’t you heard its about quality and not quantity (LOL… I am performing a Jedi mind trick on you… You’re getting sleepy… Okay, that’s enough.)? I honestly have to be inspired to write, and one such story has done just that.
The Baltimore Ravens veteran safety, Ed Reed, is impromptu to say the least. As someone who has been given carte blanche by the coaching staff to play off his intuition versus the standard route running expectation, Reed has proven to be mature in his judgement. Currently in the playoffs, I’m sure the Ravens weren’t expecting Reed to play as total turmoil was very much present within the Reed family.
Apparently, his brother Brian Reed, after he was spotted in a stolen vehicle is believed to have jumped into the Mississippi River as he ran from police in Louisiana. This was a few days ago and subsequently, even after finding Brian’s shoes and jacket, authorities have called off the search for the missing Reed.
How could Ed Reed’s mind have been in the game, let alone him playing as dominantly as he did? And with his ridiculous hit on Dexter McCluster, he was very much present in the Ravens’ 30-7 AFC wild card win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Before Reed boarded a private jet to be with his family, he was given the game ball as one of many gestures the team exemplified showing their support. Now while everyone would have understood his absence, Reed showed young players and his other team mates alike the importance of being committed to your craft and to live up to the maturity badge he’s obviously earned.