Archive | NFL RSS feed for this section

Brian Banks Looking Towards the Future

1 Jun

Here’s a story that is probably going to make you cry. About 10 years ago there was this 16 year old high school kid named Brian Banks. He went to Long Beach Poly High School in Long Beach, California and had been offered a full scholarship to play football at USC. With a few more years of high school left and then a few years in college, this kid was pretty much NFL-bound. However, in the Summer of 2002, his life plans changed.

Brian Banks was accused of rape by a high school classmate, Wanetta Gibson for what she said occurred in the high school’s stairwell. Despite the lack of evidence in the case, Banks’ attorney felt that there was no way he would emerge non-guilty and even though he denied the rape, he finally plead guilty. After his plea, Banks got six years in prison.

When Banks finally got out of jail he still had to wear a GPS tracking ankle bracelet and registered as a sex offender (because of his “rape history”). It was difficult for him to get a job but he was just happy to be out of jail.

Here was this guy who was living his life as a convicted rapist and yet there was never any proof that he actually committed rape. But Banks continued to try and make a life for himself in any way that he could.

Then one day last year everything changed.  Banks received a Facebook friend request from Wanetta Gibson, the woman who accused him all those years ago. She had sent him a message saying she wanted to put this all behind them. Banks agreed to meet Gibson but he was smart about it. And thank goodness he was. When Banks met with Gibson, he did so in the office of a private investigator and secretly videotaped everything that she said. Gibson clearly stated on the tape, “No, he did not rape me.” The reasons why Gibson chose to meet with Banks in the first place are a little off but the point is that Banks finally had the evidence he needed to prove his innocence. The turn of events over this past year were pretty weird but also lucky.

Over the last year, Banks worked together with the California Innocence Project in San Diego to try and get his rape conviction flipped.

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, about 10 years after he was convicted, Banks got his future back.

My heart aches for Brian Banks for so many reasons and I’m sure yours does too. But what is so amazing and inspiring about this story is that Banks could easily sit here and try and make you feel bad for him.  But he is not sitting here, complaining, and dwelling on the past. He is still set on pursuing his dreams and not letting the last 10 years get in the way.

For Banks, things are already starting to look up. The last few days have been full of good news for Banks. This week he received calls to work out for the Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Seattle Seahawks, and the Washington Redskins. The best part of it all, Banks actually has a shot at making an NFL roster. He is listed at 6-ft-2 and 245 lbs.

As the world can see, the Brian Banks story is not yet done being written. The only way he can go is up now. Even if he doesn’t make the NFL, Banks already has numerous job offers and he will no doubt be successful regardless. He has already proven that he can make it through tough times and a great deal of adversity.

So, good luck Brian Banks, I know you will be successful in whatever you pursue but you better believe that if you make an NFL roster, I will be cheering for you every step of the way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more on the Brian Banks story  visit this website: brianbanks.org

Advertisements

breaking the rules…

10 Apr

so many violations. so many scandals. and just another typical week in sports. its been a few weeks since we found out about the saints bounty scandal and only just a few days ago we find out about baylor university’s violations and impermissible recruitment of many of its star athletes.

to give a quick recap.

after careful investigation, the nfl found that the new orleans saints were in paying money and offering incentives to their players to knock players from other teams out of the games and injure them as well. obviously, no one really knows what went on but there is significant proof of these incentives and completely wrong acts. the nfl has since suspended the head coach, sean payton , for the entire season and suspended their general manager and one of the assistant coaches. not only were the bounty activities wrong, but people in the saints organization failed to report what they had seen and heard. many of the penalties could have been prevented had someone just said something but instead they let it go.

the baylor thing is a little more fresh. an athletic department that has had arguably their best athletic year in their college’s history is now being shown in another light. their violations have to do with the recruitment of their men’s and women’s basketball players. impermissible texts and visits have been found to have occurred by both coaching staffs. yes, both baylor’s men’s and women’s teams have been extremely successful this year. and the women’s team has the best player in the country, brittney griner. while the baylor athletic department has imposed some penalties on their own, the ncaa could offer further penalties. for now, we just sit and wait.

there is no question that what the saints and baylor athletic department did was wrong but the question is where do we go from here?

let me say first that these are completely separate issues. imposing harm on someone is very different from improper recruitment of athletes. yet, the coaches of both teams broke the rules. the saints could have in fact caused injuries to people and baylor might have unfairly won a championship. how is it fair for teams who break the rules to win and be successful while other teams can do it without breaking the rules? trust me, teams that don’t break the rules can win fair and square.

rules are basically what sports are based on. if there were no rules, then there could be no winners or losers. if there were no rules then we wouldn’t really have anything to measure our sports and our athletes with. so when will it stop? when will coaches, players, and fans realize that by breaking the rules they are damaging the perception of sports?

it’s not like these are the first rule violations that we have seen. the ncaa has come down hard on some of the sports and athletic programs that have broken rules (usc, ohio state, uconn etc.). i’d need a completely new post to discuss the ncaa and their varied penalties and punishments so i’ll stop here. but again, the ncaa, just like roger goodell, has the opportunity to set a precedent that will greatly affect the sports world.

im not going to tell you what i think the nfl and roger goodell or the ncaa should do because frankly, they have their own set of rules. the bigger issue here is why? why do people feel the need to break rules that are so fundamental to the world of sports?

i don’t know how we make people follow the rules but i do think that the more we talk about it and the more we bring these issues to the forefront, the less likely people will be to break the rules. it’ll be interesting to watch and see how this year’s saints team responds and what the ncaa chooses to do with the baylor athletic department over the next few weeks.

where will tim tebow go?

21 Mar

Image

the question on everyone’s mind right now is not how will peyton manning do with his newly found home in denver (everyone is pretty much expecting greatness) but what happens to tim tebow?

2 1/2 months ago, tebow looked like he could do no wrong for the denver broncos. he was on every sportscenter highlight, the cover of magazines and newspapers, and a myriad of commercials. oh how the times have changed drastically. now, i will admit, i am not a lover of all things tim tebow and have tried to not give in to the hype. i think at times, tebow, as a player and a person has been blown completely out of proportion, but, i think there is value to him as a player and really as a brand. tebow has the ability to change the atmosphere of a team and does have (gasp) some legitimate playmaking abilities.

so the question becomes, where will he go? denver is apparently set on trading him although i do think that he would benefit from staying there for a few years and learning from peyton. but, i get it. there is a certain air that goes with tim tebow and for a team looking to infuse some energy into their fan base and franchise, he could be the right choice.

the other thing to take into account is will tim tebow be a legitimate contender for a starting quarterback job on any nfl team? as many analysts have said, tim tebow is a great athlete and football player. but he needs more time to develop his nfl quarterback skills. if he is set on being a starting qb on an nfl team, he might need to sit back and learn from a more seasoned starter. i think quarterback competition would greatly benefit tebow so more time for him might be necessary. tebow’s completion percentage last season was lower then the average completion percentage for all the nfl quarterbacks.

so where does he go?

the biggest names that are out right now are the jacksonville jaguars, the green bay packers, the miami dolphins, and .. the new york jets (a recent development).

i think the jaguars would probably benefit the most from tebow because they will be able to create excitement again for their team. they have been a franchise that has always struggled. tebow is from jacksonville and will definitely sell tickets and create excitement. but will he really help the team out as a quarterback? plus, jacksonville has 2 quarterbacks signed already.

the packers are an interesting team because they would be gaining another well-liked quarterback in tebow but they would also be saying to tebow, you are going to be the back-up for a while. aaron rodgers is not going anywhere anytime soon and it is highly unlikely that tebow will beat him out for the starting  job.

now the miami dolphins are another florida team that would benefit from the excitement of tim tebow. however, they would probably have to change too much of their offense in order to make tebow successful. this is where the discussion of a possible position change for tebow could come in. tebow has the capabilities to be a great nfl running back or tight end and could play a lot more if he chooses to make a position switch.

lastly, the new york jets have emerged as another team interested in tebow. tebow to the jets could get interesting. they could benefit greatly from the excitement of tim tebow and it might provide a spark for a franchise and fan base that has been disappointed by quarterback mark sanchez as of late. it could be good to see some quarterback competition between tebow and sanchez but again, its a gamble.

i have no idea where tebow will end up but im sure that wherever he goes, he will not only have his loyal fans follow but he will also gain many new “tebow faithful” as well.