Friday, December 11, 2009

Pay it Forward

So as I'm sitting here at my desk eating leftover chilly, I have been reading posts on I post frequently on here about my undying love for the Saints, and for those who aren't football fans, I imagine those posts can be awfully boring. But as we from New Orleans know firsthand, football transcends the game. So although this post is Saints related, it is has nothing to do with the sports and everything to do with life.

I'll post the link to the actual article I am referencing, but I'll give you some background here so you know why I felt it was important to post about. You see in the Saints off season this summer we signed a defensive end turned defensive tackle, Anthony Hargrove. Anthony has seen the highs of being drafted out of college into the NFL, but most recently he has seen some major lows. After a successful rooking season, he began struggling with a drug addiction which eventually got him suspended for four games. The suspension teamed with his lack of focus got him released from his team. After signing on with the Bills, Anthony failed his second drug test and was suspended for a year. He had hit the bottom. Not one to give opportunities to "character issue" guys, our coach made an exception for Anthony because he saw in him a will to be a better man. Anthony has taken his second chance to heart and has succeeded on the field, but most importantly, he has succeeded off the field. I have been following him since I first read about his troubled life, and I have been thinking about him and hoping for his sake and for his family's sake, that this last opportunity would be the one that would turn his life around. I can't explain why I felt so connected to his story. Maybe it's because when I needed something hopeful in my life post-Katrina, the Saints and their will to win, their will to carry our beleaguered city on it's shoulders, provided that ray of light. I just had this feeling that if Anthony could be a part of this team and this town he could see how wonderful life could be without the things that hold you down.

And if you read the following story, I think you will feel like I do. Relieved to know that Anthony has found his way. Hopeful to see that because he has seen that out of darkness comes light, he can become a beacon of light to others. I think that being able to see that in yourself speaks volumes about character. More so than any suspension ever could.

This is Anthony's story of paying it forward:

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