I have had a lot transpire in the last couple of weeks. As you may have read I made the executive board of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). I am one of 10 players and was told that I am the youngest player ever, which is a major accomplishment for me. I am just really proud and honored to be named to this board and I look forward to the responsibilities that it requires to be a representative of the NFL as a whole and not just the Broncos. They added three new members, because two dropped off and one — Kevin Mawae of the Tennessee Titans — became the president. We added Mike Vrabel of the New England Patriots, Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and myself.
All 10 positions were elected in. Seven people returned and the rest were nominated. I was nominated all three times, but it got kind of dramatic at the end. The very first time Rod (Smith) nominated me, but I didn’t quite make it. Then for the next spot, T.J. Houshmandzadeh of the Cincinnati Bengals nominated me and I didn’t quite make that one. The last time, Drew Brees nominated me and each person that was nominated had to give a little speech. So I gave a little speech and I guess it put me over the top and they voted me in. I was very proud. The next day I was sitting on the stage next to the President of the Player’s Association and the Executive Director Gene Upshaw. I felt kind of important, but mostly I was honored and proud for the opportunity.
Someone forwarded me an article that compared my nomination speech to a speech Barack Obama would give. I am honored to have my speech compared to Barack, but I am no where near. I think I gained the support of 60 or so football players, where he has gained the support of a few more people. So I don’t know if my speech was that powerful, but it accomplished the goal which I guess is the most important thing.
It was a great experience. Every time that I go out there it is half work and half play which is nice. I always get to learn a lot about the history of the NFL and the history of the NFLPA and the struggles of the past and the future difficulties that we may face. I have always been outspoken and aggressive so I think that is one of the reasons people believed in me. The last two years I have been heavily involved in the NFLPA and I have never been afraid to give my opinion. I guess my opinion isn’t that crazy and some people agreed with me and thought I would be a good representative. And now I am an executive for the first time in my life, which is kind of cool to say.
Last year we did a bunch of stuff while we were in Hawai’i; helicopter rides, some hiking through a rain forest and touristy stuff like that. But this year — our second year there — we kind of felt like natives so we just relaxed most of the time. We had some nice meals and chilled out taking in the sun. Get me a little tan, nothing wrong with that.
I have made an addition to my art collection; in fact I almost lost my life doing it. In one of my past blogs I talked about going to the Little Rock Nine luncheon, which was in celebration of the nine students in Little Rock, Arkansas that desegregated the first school in that area. While I was there I purchased a piece of art by an artist named Charlie Palmer. It was a depiction of the event and I was able to get it signed by each member of the Little Rock Nine, which was very cool.
I had it framed and I went to pick it up. The place I had it framed was way out in Boulder, so on the way back I was behind one of those trucks that carry a bunch of cars. The cars had been totaled so I guess they were taking them to the scrap yard or somewhere. So I was behind the truck and one of the bumpers on one of the cars was kind of loose. The wind ripped it off as I was on I-25 headed south right around I-70. The bumper flew off and landed in front of my car and was rolling right towards me. I had a split second so I looked in both of my mirrors and I was flanked by two cars and there was a car behind me so I couldn’t slam on my breaks.
Fortunately I was in an SUV and just drove right over it. It scared me at first because it flew off the top deck so when it came off I thought it was going to hit me in the windshield which would have been traumatic. Who knows how I would have responded. But I drove over it and it didn’t cause my car any damage, at least none that I am aware of yet. It might be leaking some important fluid that I will find out about sooner or later.
Speaking of my art collection, my rookie year I gave a speech on Martin Luther King Jr. day — I have told this story before and it was in my book, so I guess I will re-tell it. I was in Arvada giving this speech and a gentleman came up at the end of the speech and gave me the Life Magazine from the day after Dr. King was assassinated, an original copy. Anyway I have had it since then, but I took it up to the art framer and they going to frame it up and do a collage next to it, so I am really excited about that.
The guy who gave it to me has become a good friend of the family and has been to a few games. I haven’t talked to him in a while so I guess this a good reminder for me to give him a call to see how he and his family are doing.
I haven’t gotten too caught up in the NCAA Basketball tournament nor have I the past few years. Mostly because I am in Hawai’i when it starts at the NFLPA meetings and it is hard to get my hands on a bracket and fill one out. And if you don’t have a bracket, you just kind of sit and wait and watch the big finishes so I enjoy those games. I am sad to see my Terps not make it in, so now I just cheer for the ACC schools. I know Hamza Abdullah’s school Washington State is playing North Carolina this week so I have been talking trash with him. I am sure Dre’ Bly will add to that when he and Hamza see each other.
To close, I want to send out best wishes to the Broncos employees who were let go recently. You not only get close to your teammates, but you get close to a lot of employees around the facility. We are always prepared for a teammate to leave because that is the nature of the business but when other people leave, especially those that you get to know and you really like it is difficult. I am pretty sad about it. I am sure those who read the blog with miss Andrew Mason especially. He always gave good information, but I guess in business you sometimes have to do things like that.
Well that is all for now. Talk to you soon.
Tags: Andrew Mason, Art, Barack Obama, Basketball, College Basketball, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dre Bly, Drew Brees, Exceutive board, Family, Gene Upshaw, Hamza Abdullah, Kevin Mawae, Little Rock Nine, Maryland, Maui, Mike Vrabel, NFL Players Association, Offseason, Politics, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Uncategorized