A big man | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A big man

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2009 at 11:25 AM

A dedicated blog reader brings to our attention this great sports story from the New York Times about Eagles offensive lineman Shawn Andrews from Camden, who talks about his struggles with depression and his worries about being a good enough father. And he reveals that playing football wasn't his idea.

Andrews weighed 230 pounds by age 12 and said he had wrestled with his self-image for years, having been picked on because of his size and because he grew up poor in Camden, Ark. He said he received word before his rookie season in 2004 that a childhood friend was planning to have him killed over money. He said he had come to regret spending lavishly on expensive cars and other baubles that he now considered frivolous.

He said he felt overjoyed by the birth of his son 13 ½ months ago, but also worried whether he was ready to be a father, promising himself that he would be around for JaShawn in a way that his own father had not.

Perhaps most revealingly, Andrews said he believed that, to some extent, he was forced into football as a sixth grader because he was big, not because he particularly loved the sport. He said he had not watched a complete professional football game unless he was playing in it.

 

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