Friday, November 20, 2009

NFL Pro Bowler Shows Support for Late Coach's Son

Last Monday night Josh Cribbs had to be carried off a football field on a stretcher, having suffered a concussion on the last play of the game. Two days earlier, I didn't even know who Joshua Cribbs was. At that time I just happened upon an article about a former Kent State football player who walked out on to the field on senior night at a high school football game. Not really a news worthy story you might say, but he did so for his late coach's son.

Mike Drake, a senior at Stow High School, assumed he would be joined by his mother and sister for senior night introductions. Instead he got the surprise of his life when Pro Bowler, Josh Cribbs arrived minutes before the start of the game.

"I looked, then looked away, then said, 'Why are you here?'" Michael recalled. "I was shocked."

Before the seniors last game, Cribbs offered Michael some advice.

"He said, 'Play your heart out. This is it. Give it your all. Don't ever stop on any play. Keep pushing.'" Michael said. "I almost felt worried. I didn't want to look bad for him."

Cribbs was recruited by Michael's late father, Michael Sr, to play at Kent State. Drake was a father figure for Cribbs and he credits Michael Sr with teaching him the fundamentals that he uses today.

When asked about it, Cribbs said, "he was there to support and encourage, not at all to replace the type of father his father was." He admitted that it was an emotional evening.

I know this doesn't seem like much, but to me it shows what kind of person Josh Cribbs is. This wasn't a self-serving act. He did this for the family of a man he respected. He down played the entire thing. After all, this took place on October 30 and wasn't reported by the news media until November 14. With the way news gets reported today, that's an eternity.

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