Random thoughts while awaiting Super Bowl XLVII...
Lost in the drama surrounding Ray Lewis' retirement, deer antler extract, Ed Reed's criticism of the commish, players debating gay acceptance in the locker room, and whether or not Beyonce will lip-sync at halftime, is the feel-good story of three Clevelanders playing on this international stage.
Ted Ginn Jr. echoed his father's sentiment on Thursday when he admitted he was playing for all the kids in Cleveland who look up to him.
As Ted Jr. said, telling kids to stay focused and work hard is one thing; playing in front of them in a game like the Super Bowl is another.
As Ted said, it's like being a real-life action figure. I agree.
Then there's Donte Whitner, whose story has been told often, but bears repeating: hit by a car when he was six...suffered as many as 30 (30!) leg fractures...was told he may never walk again...and 21 years later, here Donte is, a big, hard-hitting piece of that 49'er defense, playing for a Super Bowl ring.
Whitner says he thinks about that childhood accident often, because it motivates him to this day.
Not to be outdone, Alex Boone, the 49'ers offensive guard, former St. Ed's star, and, like Ginn and Whitner, a former Buckeye...a man who battled and seemingly conquered his demons, who worked his way onto an NFL practice squad, and now finds himself a key part of San Francisco's strong offensive line.
These are the men I'll be rooting for on Sunday.
All faced long odds, all overcame them, and all will bring a piece of Cleveland with them into that game in the Superdome.
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