Arquivo da tag: Super Bowl

10 motivos para ver o Super Bowl para quem é fã de futebol americano

Os astros do Super Bowl XLVIII - Foto: NFL.com

Os astros do Super Bowl XLVIII – Foto: NFL.com

1
É o maior jogo da temporada do futebol americano. É uma daquelas partidas repletas de adjetivos. Épica, digamos. E você não pode perder isso. Nunca. Jamais.

2
É a chance de ver Peyton Manning se eternizar como o maior quarterback da história.

3
É a chance de ver Marshawn Lynch se eternizar como um dos maiores running backs da história.

4
É a chance de ver Russell Wilson dar um passo rumo à eternidade.

5
É a chance de catequizar seus amigos (as) que não gostam ou nunca viram um jogo de futebol americano.

6
Assistir ao show do intervalo e comentar com os amigos: “Ah, o do Bruce Springsteen foi melhor, hein?”

7
É a chance de ver jogadores geniais fazerem jogadas geniais. Ou jogadores comuns fazendo coisas extraordinárias. O jogo é democrático, e heróis inesperados podem surgir a qualquer instante.

8
Esse jogo será lembrado e falado por pelo menos sete meses, no mínimo. Não vai ficar fora dessa, né?

9
Você torce para Broncos ou Seahawks? Então, é dever moral ver o jogo. Não vai ver? Desvio de caráter.

10
Só 10 motivos? Sério? Só podia ser um torcedor do Buffalo Bills mesmo para escrever só 10 motivos…

LEIA MAIS
10 motivos para ver o Super Bowl para quem não dá a mínima para o Super Bowl

P.S.: O guia completo do Super Bowl XLVIII para você se divertir. De graça, no site da NFL. É só clicar aqui, são 292 páginas de muita história.

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Arquivado em Futebol americano

10 motivos para ver o Super Bowl para quem não dá a mínima para o Super Bowl

O guia para o fã casual do Super Bowl - Foto: NFL.com/Illustration

O guia para o fã casual do Super Bowl – Foto: NFL.com/Illustration

1
Tem show do intervalo que é “o show do intervalo”.

2
Para entrar no clima, é a desculpa para se entupir de hambúrguer e batata frita.

3
É mais uma desculpa para entornar litros e litros de sua bebida preferida, inclusive – ou especialmente – as alcoólicas.

4
É outra desculpa para chamar os amigos para encher sua casa num domingo chato, comer hambúrguer, batata frita e tomar doses cavalares de cerveja.

5
Quer mais uma desculpa? É a desculpa para sair de casa – rumo a um bar ou à casa de algum amigo – num domingo chato, comer hambúrguer, batata frita e tomar doses cavalares de cerveja.

6
É a chance de torcer para um time qualquer porque a camisa é bonita ou a cor do capacete é legal ou é divertido falar Peyton Manning ou porque o quarterback é bonitão – mas não chega aos pés do Tom Brady – e, ainda por cima, mudar de time a hora que quiser. Sem culpa.

7
Tem um monte de cheerleaders bonitonas e, mesmo com o frio de New Jersey, não dá para desprezar. Sem culpa, claro.

8
Nunca viu um jogo de futebol americano? Dê essa chance a você mesmo! O jogo é legal, você vai se divertir! E nada melhor do que começar vendo o principal duelo do ano, não?

9
Todo mundo vai falar disso na segunda e você, claro, não quer ser o único a não ter ideia do papo, né? A não ser que…

10
… você resolva cumprir os passos de 1 a 8 – pule o 9, sem culpa -. Aí, claro, você tem uma boa desculpa para dar balão na manhã de segunda-feira. A não ser que seu chefe tenha visto o Super Bowl e aparecido para trabalhar. Vai arriscar essa jarda na quarta descida?

LEIA MAIS
10 motivos para ver o Super Bowl para quem é fã de futebol americano

P.S.: Do site da NFL: The Casual Fan’s Super Bowl Guide: XLVIII

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Arquivado em Futebol americano

Pílulas de um Super Bowl inesquecível e “legal”

Eli Manning, de novo, campeão do Super Bowl - Foto: Timothy A. Clary/AFP

Eli Manning, de novo, campeão do Super Bowl - Foto: Timothy A. Clary/AFP

Dizem por aí que todo UFC é histórico, todo lutador é um gênio, enfim, todo evento é tratado como se fosse o último. Quem viu o Super Bowl 46, entre New York Giants e New England Patriots, pode falar, com todas as letras, que foi um jogo histórico e que teve jogadas geniais. O único problema é que, futebol americano, só em agosto, com a pré-temporada.

Abaixo, em pílulas, o Super Bowl 46:

– Acho a entrada dos times uma das coisas mais bacanas. Ali, há jogadores mais tranquilos, outros concentrados, alguns tentando esconder a ansiedade, e outros completamente pilhados. É sensacional.

– Surreal é a capacidade que os caras têm em montar e desmontar o palco para o “show do intervalo”. Impressionante que nenhuma luz falha. Ok, é tudo modular e foi testado trocentas vezes, mas existe a chance de dar errado. Lá, nunca dá.

– Madonna. Acho legal ver o superhipermegashow do Super Bowl, mas tenho a sensação de que é legal para quem está em casa. No estádio, acho que você não vê nada. Para mim, fica a máxima: show do intervalo do Super Bowl, mesmo quando é ruim, é  bom.

– O que foi aquela zona de câmeras e repórteres e sei lá mais quem no gramado ao fim do jogo? Eli Manning não conseguia sair do lugar. Se fosse por aqui, era exemplo de desorganização. Mas, lá, sabe como é. Eu sei, todo ano é assim, parece que aquela zona já é tradicional depois do apito final, mas podia ser uma zona organizada, não?

Garotinho faz a festa ao fim do Super Bowl 46 - Foto: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Garotinho faz a festa ao fim do Super Bowl 46 - Foto: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

– Tom Brady é um dos grandes nomes da história. O que ele fez no fim do segundo quarto foi monstruoso, o que ele quase fez naquele último minuto foi surreal. Um baita jogador.

– Falem o que for, mas Eli Manning já tem lugar cativo entre os monstros do esporte. O cara é uma geleira quando o assunto é definir um jogo. Pode não ter a capacidade de fazer jogadas plasticamente belas, como Peyton, seu irmão, Brady e tantos outros. Mas tem a capacidade de ganhar campeonatos.

– Depois de horas, ver um jogo ser decidido no último instante é de tirar o fôlego.

– No meio de tudo isso, o mais legal foi ver minha namorada “perder” a noite de domingo vendo o Super Bowl ao meu lado. Perguntou um monte de coisas sobre regras, tentou entender o jogo e torceu para os Patriots (“do Brady”) só pra me contrariar. Mas, depois daquele último minuto de eterna tensão, veio a recompensa: “nossa, é legal, né?”. Nesse instante, a dor nas costas, que ferrou meu domingo, até deu uma sossegada.

Fecham-se as cortinas, torcida brasileira. A bola oval está cada vez mais presente na nossa cultura. Não espero que se torne algo absurdamente massificado, longe disso. Mas, se a cada jogo, surgir um novo fã em potencial, a coisa fica bacana. Bem bacana.

Foi assim, com Gisele Bundchen, que Brady voltou para casa - Foto: Mark Humphrey/AP

Fim de jogo; Brady, sem título, mas com Gisele Bundchen - Foto: Mark Humphrey/AP

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Buffalo Bills, o início de uma paixão e um Super Bowl imperdível

Jim Kelly, um monstro - Foto: Time Warner

Jim Kelly, um monstro - Foto: Time Warner

Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed… Tenho quase certeza que você não tem a menor ideia de quem sejam. Mas foram esses caras que me fizeram admirar o futebol americano. E, graças a eles, quando escrevo essas linhas, já estou tenso para acompanhar mais um Super Bowl.

No começo dos anos 90 (ou seria no fim dos 80?), a Bandeirantes passou a transmitir jogos da NFL. Não me lembro se a TV passava jogos da temporada regular, ou só dos playoffs, ou, ainda, só o Super Bowl. O fato é que bastava ligar no canal 13 para descobrir que futebol poderia ser jogado com as mãos e, pasmem, era bem bacana.

Foi nessa época que esses caras levaram o Buffalo a disputar quatro Super Bowls consecutivos. Aí, vai do ponto de vista: você pode achar que chegar a quatro Super Bowls seguidos é sinal de um time vencedor, ou você pode achar que perder quatro Super Bowls seguidos é sinal de um time perdedor.

O fato é que o time perdeu todas as finais que disputou. É triste ler na Wikipedia: “Buffalo is also the only team to win four consecutive American Football Conference Championships, the only team in either conference to play in four consecutive Super Bowl games, and the only team ever to lose four consecutive Super Bowls”. Triste, triste.

Enquanto os jogos passavam, lembro da minha mãe reclamando, falando que era só pancadaria, que era só brutalidade, enfim, que o esporte era violento. Seria legal sentar com ela hoje e falar: “ó, o esporte é inteligente, esses caras são estudiosos, nada acontece por acaso”. Violento? Que nada. Agressivo, às vezes, com certeza, mas, está longe de ser violento.

Torcer para os Bills é um exercício de paciência e de fé. Paciência porque o time, venhamos e convenhamos, é ruim. Haja paciência torcer por uma equipe que não se classifica para o mata-mata desde 1999. Fé porque ainda tem gente, como eu, que acredita que dias melhores virão, nem que seja para perder quatro Super Bowls consecutivos mais uma vez.

Super Bowl 46, New York Giants x New England Patriots: Foto: Reprodução/NFL

Super Bowl 46, New York Giants x New England Patriots: Foto: Reprodução/NFL

Vinte anos depois, cá estou, à espera de New York Giants x New England Patriots. Gosto de Peyton Manning, quarterback do Indianapolis Colts. E daí?, diria o outro. O jogo desta noite é em Indianapolis, e o irmão mais novo de Peyton, Eli, é o quarterback dos Giants. Gosto de Nova York, cidade sensacional que tive o prazer de conhecer no ano passado e, até hoje, não me recuperei. Ou seja: Tom Brady, o marido de Gisele Bündchen, o quarterback dos Patriots, um dos maiores nomes da história em sua posição, que me desculpe, mas hoje a torcida é pelos Giants. Imperdível!

Dos tempos de NFL na Band até hoje, passei a entender melhor o esporte, mas o futebol americano tem algo inexplicável: é capaz que você encontre algo novo, descubra variações inéditas, perceba novos detalhes a cada jogada, a cada campanha, a cada partida. É um daqueles esportes em que tudo pode acontecer e, mesmo para os catedráticos, traz um eterno aprendizado. Isso faz com que o futebol americano seja diferente, apaixonante. Basta você dar uma chance a ele. Há 20 anos, eu fiz isso!

P.S.: No Super Bowl de hoje, com certeza, ficarei com aquele ar de nostalgia. Jim Kelly foi um quarterback sensacional. Thurman Thomas, um dos melhores running backs da história. Bruce Smith era um monstro como deffensive end, e Andre Reed, um wide receiver de mão cheia (com o perdão do trocadilho). Que saudade daquele time que não ganhou nada, mas, se serve de consolo, criou um fã de futebol americano para a vida inteira.

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Temporada da NFL começa nesta quinta: finalmente, a bola oval vai voar!

Drew Brees x Aaron Rodgers, duelo de campeões na estreia - Fotos: Reuters

Drew Brees x Aaron Rodgers, duelo de campeões na estreia - Fotos: Reuters

Acabou a espera. A temporada, que correu riscos de não acontecer, enfim, vai começar. E em grande estilo: na noite desta quinta, o Green Bay Packers dará o chute inicial contra o New Orleans Saints. Simplesmente o duelo entre o atual campeão do Super Bowl e o vencedor do ano anterior. Aaron Rodgers x Drew Brees! Imperdível!

Não vou fazer análises abalizadas, nem mostrar pranchetas com as táticas para levar os times às vitórias. Gosto, e muito, da NFL, mas como torcedor: falta uma eternidade para que eu compreenda o jogo de forma mais ampla, o que, para mim, deixa cada partida ainda mais divertida e mais gostosa de assistir!

Por isso, vou apenas apostar em um vencedor para o jogo desta noite. Dúvida cruel… Mas dá Packers. Apertado. Acho que 24 a 21 é um bom palpite. E você, quem acha que abre a temporada com vitória?

Prometo sempre pitacar e ver como sou ridículo com as minhas previsões!

Drew Brees – I’m Going To Disney World

Aaron Rodgers – I’m Going To Disney World

P.S.: Ah, só pra constar, sou torcedor do Buffalo Bills (podem rir), com um apreço pelo Indianapolis Colts.

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Shannon Sharpe, Hall da Fama e uma emocionante lição de vida

Shannon (d), seu irmão Sterling (e) e o busto no Hall da Fama - Foto: Reprodução

Shannon (d), seu irmão Sterling (e) e o busto no Hall da Fama - Foto: Reprodução

É engraçado como eu fico mais calado e pensativo quando estou meio doente. A gripe ensaiou que ia chegar na última semana. Na sexta, ela deu o ar da graça. No sábado, trouxe a febre. Praticamente sumiu no domingo. Voltou com a febre a tiracolo na segunda. Hoje, está rondando por aqui.

Toda essa romaria me deu tempo para pensar sobre a vida. Sempre penso nas pessoas que gosto e que sei que gostam de mim, leia-se família, namorada, amigos, não necessariamente nessa ordem. Penso ainda no meu pai e na minha mãe, que não mais estão aqui, mas estão olhando por mim.

Nesta terça, dia 9 de agosto, não é uma data especial, não tenho nada para comemorar. Mas resolvi escrever sobre coisas que realmente mexem comigo: família, trajetórias de vida, exemplos de superação e de realização de sonhos. Por isso, começo o dia com Shannon Sharpe.

Shannon Sharpe em ação - Foto: AP

Shannon Sharpe em ação - Foto: AP

Ele nasceu em 26 de junho de 1968, 1,89, 100 kg. Atuou na NFL de 1990 a 2003 como tight end do Denver Broncos (12 anos) e Baltimore Ravens (2 anos). Entre outros feitos, foi 8 vezes escolhido para o Pro Bowl (o Jogo das Estrelas) e conquistou o Super Bowl em 3 oportunidades (1998 e 1999, ambos pelo Denver, e 2001, pelo Baltimore). Um currículo de respeito.

Foram 815 recepções, 10.060 jardas, com média de 12,3 jardas por recepção, e 62 touchdowns. Números de respeito, que levaram o ex-jogador a ser escolhido para o Hall da Fama. A cerimônia de oficialização foi no último sábado, dia 6.

Shannon é irmão mais novo de Sterling Sharpe, hoje com 46 anos. Sterling brilhou na NFL entre 1988 e 1994 com o Green Bay Packers e sua carreira não foi mais duradoura por causa de uma lesão. Ambos são netos de Mary Porter, que teve nove filhos, dedicou sua vida a eles e aos netos (criou Sterling, Shannon e a irmã deles, Libby) e morreu aos 89 anos praticamente um mês antes da cerimônia do Hall da Fama, dia 7 de julho.

Não dá para negar que Shannon é um grande orador. No Hall da Fama, fez um discurso pessoal e emotivo. Tinha de 8 a 10 minutos para falar. Abriu o coração por mais de 14 minutos. É de chorar o que ele diz para o seu irmão, que está ali do lado, assistindo a tudo de camarote. É de chorar de soluçar o que ele fala sobre a avó, sobre como ela dedicou a sua vida aos netos, como ele a amava e nunca disse o quanto ela representava para ele.

Shannon ultrapassou os 8 a 10 minutos previstos e falou por mais de 14. Deixou todos com o coração na boca. É um desses momentos que faz a pena a gente gostar de esporte. É de ficar orgulhoso, emocionado, triste, alegre. É de sentir um turbilhão de coisas. É lindo ver Shannon abrir o coração e mostrar tudo o que ele fez para chegar lá. Acima de tudo, é saber que ele não chegou ao topo sozinho. Mais: não esqueceu de quem deu tudo para que ele chegasse no ápice.

Não achei o vídeo inteiro na Internet, mas descobri uma versão de 8 minutos. É tempo o suficiente para se emocionar com as palavras desse ex-jogador. Está em inglês, mas, abaixo está a transcrição do discurso inteiro. Como a versão é menor, claro, a transcrição é maior do que as imagens no vídeo. Sei que o texto é longo, o vídeo, idem, mas acho que vale a pena. É demais a emoção de Shannon falando sobre a carreira, os irmãos e, principalmente, a avó. Uma emocionante lição de vida.

O discurso de Shannon Sharpe

Thank you, everyone. The people from the Hall of Fame tell me I only have eight to ten minutes to do this. No chance. First, I’d like to personally thank the 44 men and women that went to a room on February 5th and deemed my play on the field worthy of this prestigious honor. Thank you.

I’d also like to thank the City of Canton, the Pro Football Hall of Fame itself, and all the volunteers for their hard work to make this such a great event. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. I keep telling myself I’m not going to get emotional today, but I know that’s not going to happen.

At this moment, I’m extremely proud and excited where my 14 year NFL journey has taken me and my family. And today is the culmination of that journey. 2121 George Halas Drive, Canton, Ohio.

Today I’m humbled to be joining such an elite fraternity of great players who defined our game. I want to start by congratulating my fellow inductees who I share the stage with today. I’d also like to recognize the elite seven, that is the number of tight ends that have already been enshrined.

Today I become the eighth member. Thank you, guys. I’m honored to become a member of your select group.
We lost one of our members early last month, John Mackey. My prayers and my deepest sympathies go out to Ms. Sylvia Mackey, and the Mackey family. All these years later, nothing makes me prouder than when people call me a self made man. I have a certain persona as a player, and I know this will come as a shock, but I like to talk. It’s a trait I picked up from my mom and from my brother.

A reporter once told me he could hear the tape recorder smiling when I got on a roll, but, please, don’t let the persona overshadow the person. The persona likes to have fun. The person knew when it was time to get to work.

People often ask me how does a small town kid from Glennville, Georgia, who went to Savannah State College now Savannah State University, who won three Super Bowls and at one time owned all significant receiving records for a tight end? I want all you young people to listen to my answer. It’s called the three D’s: Determination, Dedication, and Discipline. Three traits that translate in any generation and any job setting. There is a reason they called it chasing your dreams and not walking after them. Don’t hope someone gives you an opportunity, create one for yourself.

When I left my grandmother’s home in 1986 headed to Savannah State with two brown grocery bags filled with my belongings, nothing was going to keep me from realizing my dreams. When people told me I wasn’t going to make it, I listened to the one person who told me I was, me. You may not know this, but I was never supposed to be a Hall of Fame tight end or any kind of tight end, or even a Hall of Fame player. I’m here today for a lot of reasons. Some have everything to do with me. Some have absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with the kindness and patience of all the people that guided me through my life.

I want to take a moment to personally thank some of these people who made this possible. Ms. Elaine Keels, my high school remedial reading and Spanish teacher.

And I know what you’re saying, “remedial reading and Spanish?” I was saying the exact same thing. She said it would help my reading, I said it would help me repeat my sophomore year. I think she just wanted me to take the class so she could have extra hand’s on time to help a young Shannon Sharpe. Thank you, Ms. Keels.

William Hall, my high school football coach, track coach, and driver’s ed teacher. Coach Hall has been teaching and coaching for 50 plus years, and he’s still coaching today. I know some of you might be in awe of the number of years, but it’s the number of miles. He drives 65 miles one way to get to school. Thanks, Coach Hall, for all your wisdom. Thanks Coach Hall for all your wisdom, your guidance, your understanding that you’ve given me and my family over those 50 plus years. Hopefully all those miles you’ve driven seem worth it today.

All of these people have something in common. They believed in me and so did my first NFL head coach, Dan Reeves. He remembered to draft me, but somehow forgot to cut me. Thanks, coach, I’m glad you have a lousy memory. I just want to share this little story with you, how close this moment came to not happening.

Our last preseason game my rookie year, we were playing the Arizona Cardinals. One of the coaches came to me and told me, Shannon, your name’s on the board to be cut tomorrow. He said, I don’t know how much you’re going to play, I don’t know if you’re going to play. But he said if you play, play really hard so you have something on tape, so if we release you, someone else can say okay, this guy can play a little bit.

It started to rain, and I remember driving to the stadium as it started to rain, and I’m saying to myself, if we’re not going to throw the ball, how am I going to show what I can do? I played on special teams and I got 20 offensive plays, had 12 knock down blocks. I’m not proud to say I was cutting everything that moves. When they went back into the room on Saturday, my name was off the board. I made it.

I’d like to thank Wade Phillips, the defensive coordinator with the Broncos at the time who looked at a certain scout receiver and tight end and said, Dan, let’s put him in the game and see if they can cover him, because we sure can’t. Football, of course is the ultimate team game. You don’t land here without the support of hundreds of dedicated men whose sacrifices help you become a better player. I wish I could mention all of these guys by name. But unfortunately, time doesn’t permit that.

I want to thank my head coaches, my offensive coordinators, my position coaches who diagrammed plays and had the confidence in me to call those plays to help make today possible.

I’d like to have a very special thanks to Mr. Pat Bowlen, owner of the Denver Broncos. Mr. Art Modell, former owner of the Baltimore Ravens whose wife, Pat, is a little under the weather, and I want to take this opportunity to wish her a speedy recovery.

I’d also like to thank the fans of these two great franchises, without you, there are no Super Bowl rings, no receiving records, no bronze bust.

To all my former teammates at Glennville High, Savannah State, Denver, Baltimore, hopeful you, hopefully you thought I was a good teammate and you enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed you.

Then, of course, there is my quarterback and great friend, John Elway. His place in these halls tells you what kind of player he was. I want to take a moment to tell you what kind of man he is. John had never heard of Shannon Sharpe or Savannah State, but not only did he embrace me, he chose me as his go to guy. In my first game starting at tight end they put me in motion the entire game.

As I would motion past John, he would turn around and tell me what I had to do, block the end, block the linebacker, run the out, run a corner. We won the game. I’m standing on the sideline, and I can see John walking towards me. Instead of being angry and upset with me, he walks up to me and he says, I think next week we need to learn the plays. Thanks, John, for teaching me how to be a pro.

Someone once said other things may change, but we start and end with family. As we start here with the end of my journey, I know I wouldn’t be here without my family.

To my three kids, Kayla, Kiari and Kaley, thanks for understanding when I promised to take you to the movies or the amusement park or to the mall, but because I’d run myself into the ground or lifted myself into oblivion earlier that day, I didn’t do what I had promised to do the night before. Thank you for making all of those sacrifices the other kids never had to make so your dad could live out his dream.

Katy, thanks for your love and support. And being here today to share with me this very special occasion. Thank you. Mom, I know how my grandmother gets, my brother and I talk about her a lot, but this day doesn’t happen without you. What can I say? Your baby’s in the Hall of Fame. Thanks for all the sacrifices you’ve made.

I was the first kid in Glennville to have a pair of Air Jordan’s, a Mickey Mouse watch and a Walkman. Whatever my brother and sister and I asked for and you could get, you got. I forgive you for all those white suits that you got us for Easter that made us look like John Travolta.

My big brother, Sterling, I’m the only player of 267 men that’s walked through this building to my left that can honestly say this: I’m the only pro football player that’s in the Hall of Fame, and the second best player in my own family.

If fate had dealt you a different hand, there is no question, no question in my mind we would have been the first brothers to be elected to the Hall of Fame. The 44 men and women that I thanked and congratulated earlier for giving me and bestowing this prestigious honor upon me, all I do is ask all I can do is ask, and the most humblest way I know how, is that the next time you go into that room or you start making a list, look at Sterling Sharpe’s accomplishments.

For a seven year period of the guy’s that are in the Hall of Fame at the receiver position, and the guys that have the potential to be in this building. That’s all I ask. I don’t say, hey, just do that. The next time you go in that room, you think about Sterling Sharpe’s numbers for seven years. That’s all I ask.

Sterling, you are my hero, my father figure, my role model. You taught me everything I know about sports and a lot about life. I never once lived in your shadow. I embraced it.

My sister, Libby, the caretaker of the family, my best friend, my sounding board, my biggest fan. Of the three of us you’ve had the toughest job so my brother and I could live out our dreams, you took care of the most important person in our family, our grandmother. The last two and a half years haven’t been easy on any of us, least of all you.

Every other day you would drive to go to different hospitals so our grandmother could get the best care. The eight to ten hours a day sitting in the nursing home so our granny wouldn’t be alone. That just didn’t start two and a half years ago. You’ve been with my grandmother for 41 years. Thanks for being there for my grandmother and me. I love you, big sis.

Last but not least, I think this is where I start to get emotional, my granny. See the guy that did this bust here, he went to school for that. He’s trained to bring clay to life with his hands. It’s my turn to bring Mary Porter to life with my voice. It’s time for me to give Mary Porter a face for all those that don’t know who she is. It’s my turn now.

What do you say about a person that gives you everything but life? How do you start to say thank you, granny, for a woman that raises nine of her kids and your mom’s three, and she sacrificed more for her grand kids than she did her own. My grandmother was a very simple woman. She didn’t want a whole lot. My grandmother wanted to go to church and Sunday school every Sunday. She wanted to be in Bible study every Wednesday. The other days she wanted to be on a fishing creek.

It was my brothers and my job to make sure she can do that for the remaining days of her life. The only regret that I have in my 43 years that I never told my grandmother just how much she means to me.

See, my grandmother and grandfather, they raised me, and I hung on everything they said, but they didn’t know it. I can tell you every time that my grandmother has ever been upset at me, I can tell you why. My brother never knew that everything he said that I hung on it.

I wanted to be so much like my brother that when I went to college, my brother’s first college girlfriend when I went to college, my first college girlfriend looked exactly like his (laughing).

I remember getting ready to go to Savannah State with those two brown grocery bags in 1986, and a teammate of mine that was going to the very same school blew the horn at 2:00 in the afternoon on an August day. My sister was laying on the couch, my grandmother was laying in the room, and she could see me as I was getting ready to leave, but my grandmother never got out of bed.

My grandmother never told me when I was getting ready to leave for Savannah State, “Shannon, don’t do drugs. Shannon, don’t drink. Shannon, go to class. Shannon do your homework. Shannon, be respectful. Shannon, iron your clothes.” She figured she had laid that foundation for 18 years, a ten minute speech wasn’t going to work now.

One of my best friends that is already in the Hall of Fame is Michael Irvin. If I talk to him, and I can talk to him about anything, they say, “you don’t know a man’s pain unless you walk a mile in his shoes.” But you can’t walk a mile in Shannon Sharpe’s shoes because that wouldn’t do it justice. You need to walk 20 years of my life. You need to walk 20 years in this body and feel this raging inferno that I felt to get out of Glennville, to leave that thousand square foot cinder block home with the cement floors, to leave what my grandmother said, baby, is it going to be the gas this month that I’m going to pay or is it going to be the lights? Do you want to eat or do you want light to see so can you do your homework? Son, do you want the phone just in case there’s an emergency we can call somebody? What is it going to be this month? That drove me. That drove me.

Nobody ever knew how much this five alarm fire raged inside of me. My sister didn’t know, my brother didn’t know, but it raged. I had to leave Glennville. I had to make a better way for my brothers, for my sister, for my mom. I didn’t want my kids to live one night, not one hour, not one hour in the life that I had let alone a day.

And I neglected my kids. I missed recitals, I missed football practice, I missed graduations because I was so obsessed with being the best player I could possibly be that I neglected a lot of people. I ruined a lot of relationships. But I’m not here to apologize for that because it got me here and it got them to a life they never would have enjoyed had it not been for that.

I want to leave you with this: My position coach who is sitting right there in the stands, Les Steckel once asked me, son, why do you work so hard? Every time at lunch you’re not eating, you’re in the gym, you’re working out.

You study harder, you practice harder, you have more fun. I said, Les, I never want to eat cold oatmeal again. I said, you don’t know what it’s like, Les, to grow up like I grew up. To eat the animals that I ate. I remember eating raccoon. I remember eating possum. I remember eating squirrel and turtle. I remember those days. I said, I ate that now as a kid, but I’m not going to have to eat that when I become an adult.

The one story I want to leave you with to tell you why I became this person: When I was 12 years old I told my mom, “Mom, I’m going to have some money one day, and I’m going to buy you a Mercedes, and I did.”

When I came and I asked my grandmother, what do you want? She always called me her baby. She never called me by my name. I said, “You want me to buy you a car and teach you how to drive? She said, no, son, I don’t want that. I said, “Granny, do you want jewelry?” She said, no, son, I don’t want that. She said, son, I want a decent house.

And I’m thinking well, my grandmother wants 7,000, 8,000 square feet. But then I knew my grandmother, knowing her like I know her, after pausing for five or six minutes. I said, “Granny, what is a decent home?” And I remember it like yesterday, and it was 30 plus years ago.

She said, son, I want a decent home and her words verbatim is “Son, I want to go to bed one night,” and she said, “I want God to let it rain as hard as he possibly can, and I want him to let it rain all night long.” She said, “I want to wake up and not be wet.” That’s a decent home for my grandmother. That’s all she wanted. For 66 years, my grandmother never went to bed and had it rain and not be wet the next morning. I remember those days of putting those plastic coats on the bed and I’m going to date myself and call them croaker sacks but now we call them burlap bags. I remember that.

I remember putting the pots and pans on the floor to catch the rain water. The very pots and pans that we’re going to cook in the next day. I remember that. It broke my heart that my grandmother, all she wanted was she’s got two grand boys that are making millions of dollars, and she wanted a house that wouldn’t leak. That’s all she wanted. That’s all my grandmother wanted.

For two boys that are making millions and all you want is a decent house. You want to go to bed and not get wet when you wake up. That’s what drove Shannon. That’s what got me here.

When I did the special, we were going down, my brother and I were going down to shoot a special that Thursday. My sister called me about 9:00 that Wednesday night. She said, “Shannon, she’s gone.” I said, “for real, Libby?” She hung the phone up. My girlfriend and I were laying in the bed. She said, are you okay? ‘I said I’m fine.” I just want to lay here, and I just want to think.

As I’m driving down I’ve got my head phones on because I don’t want to talk. And I’m trying to gather in my mind what I’m going to say when I see my grandma laying in that casket, and before I did the interview I remember going by King’s Funeral Home that had my grandmother’s body, and I rubbed her head. My sister had her hair braided, and I rubbed her head, and I already knew what she would want.

I said, now Granny, I promised these people I would do this, but if you say no, I think they’ll understand. See, my grandmother, if you give a man your word, you do what you say you’re going to do.

See, when my grandfather died, I missed one day, the day of the funeral. My grandmother didn’t believe in that. If you promise somebody you’re going to do something, you do it. As my grandmother was laying in that casket on Saturday morning, I walked over to her, and I asked her two things. I asked her two things: I said, “Granny, am I the man you thought I would be when you got on the train and you came to Chicago and got me at three months? Am I the man you thought I would be?” And I stood there for about 20 seconds and I could see her smiling.

Then I asked her, “Are you proud?” I said, Granny, are you proud of your baby? Because everything I’ve done in my life, I’ve tried to please you.

I know my grandmother’s proud. I know my family’s proud. This day means so much to me because I get to share it with that guy right there. You’ll never know. When he put that jacket on me last night, there’s two people in this world who knew what we were thinking. There were two people in this world who knew what we felt at that very moment, and we felt it at the very same time. Guys, I’m so honored to be a part of this. I’m so honored. You don’t know what this means to me.

You play in the National Football League and you say you’re a member of the fraternity. But this is the fraternity of all fraternities. Deacon Jones once said everybody in this room right here could catch the other person that’s in this room right here. Nobody’s better, whether you’re 1 or you’re 267.

P.S.: A transcrição do discurso foi retirada do site Cosby Sweaters.

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