As a child, I worked very hard doing numerous odd jobs to make money. I mowed lawns, sold newspapers, went door-to-door selling candy, etc. If there was a job out there that was paying, I did it.
“It was very hard coming into a game knowing that nothing was really on the line but your pride, yet our guys still rose to the challenge,” said Head Coach of Texas Southern University Mike Davis.
As I sit in the Health and Physical Education Arena (home of the Southwestern Athletic Conference leader Texan Southern University basketball team), I am saddened by two things: One the crowd size and two, the lack of media coverage here.
I walked into the NRG practice facility for the NFL franchise Houston Texans and saw all the young men stretching and getting themselves prepared for their early morning job interviews. My mind wandered back to a poem I learned in my college days that had the sentence that summed up my first impression, “It isn’t the victory after all, but the fight that a brother makes.” And by the looks of the Houston NFL Regional Combine participants, these gifted young men were ready to showcase their talent to league scouts that were in attendance.
“You sacrificed for us. You the real MVP,” said current Golden State Warrior small forward Kevin Durant who received the Most Valuable Player in the 2013-14 season of the NBA as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Who knew that those words would be the most profound ones of that entire speech? Well, that and the fact he said thank you to Russell Westbrook for always being there for him and he loves playing with him. Two years later. He was gone.
On May 27, 2009, I raised my right hand and repeated, “I Brian Barefield, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That was by far one of the best days of my life. Well, that was until I stepped into Delmar Stadium in Houston, Texas on February 1, 2017, to witnessed all of our brave men and women who were injured serving and defending this country go up against NFL alumni pros all in the name of charity.
As football fans gathered at Super Bowl parties all across America, they had no clue that they were about to witness a miracle and history all at the same time. The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons met at NRG stadium in Houston, Texas for the last game of the 2016 season. Super Bowl LI, this matchup featured the newly crowned NFL MVP (Matt Ryan) vs. the ageless wonder (Tom Brady). Yet it would only be one who would walk away with the Lombardi trophy and legendary status.
Well, it is finally here. The pinnacle of the NFL season. Crème de la Crème for every player that dons the uniform of any of the 32 teams in the National Football League. But for one team it seems like business as usual and the other team comes in with a ‘We Belong Here,” mentality. The AFC Champions New England Patriots will play the NFC Champions Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas (6:30 PM ET on Fox).
As we patiently awaited the arrival of one of Houston’s iconic sports legends. You could hear all of the positive compliments being thrown around the room. Things like hard worker, dedicated, clubhouse leader, etc. I even overheard one story of where a first base umpire got a call wrong and he said, “That’s ok. We all make mistakes.”
“Although we’ve come. To the end of the road. Still I can’t let go. It’s unnatural. You belong to me. I belong to you.” These words are more than lyrics to Boys to Men’s 1992 hit “End of the Road,” but are the sentiment to how many fans felt including myself this past weekend after the conclusion of the second round of the playoffs. Even as I write this article the replay of Aaron