Arrested Development & Why I Deserve a Pulitzer…

No, although one of the funniest TV show ever… “Arrested Development” is not today’s topic… seriously if you’ve never watched… you are missing out…. it’s off the air now but truly must watch TV.

On with the post, first off – I’m feeling much better than the past few days – just a bad little stretch there I guess – (note to self), DO NOT Mix 5 Redbulls with a 2 Litre Pepsi Max while chewing raw coffee beans and 3 No-Doze Tablets… if you should ever find yourself in the situation where that particular combo is offered to you…. politely decline…

We’re gonna take another stroll down memory lane… talk a bit about how I came to be a star athlete and the events leading up to my winning the Heisman Trophy while at UCLA. Now granted, it was a few years back so SOME of the details may be a bit fuzzy but I’ll do the best I can to just relay the facts with no embellishment…..

I was just a kid…   …but I remember one fateful day when Coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. “You don’t have to tell me,” I said. “I’m off the team, aren’t I?” “Well,” said Coach, “you never were really ON the team. You made that uniform you’re wearing and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times.” It was all true what he was saying. And yet, I thought something is brewing inside the head of this Coach. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can mold. But that’s when I felt the handcuffs go on…

I spent the next 3 years in Juvey Hall…   …I don’t consider it lost time, I spent most of it pumping iron, playing cards for smokes and bitches… trying to educate myself, lift up my mantle from the gruff inner-city, often brutish childhood I endured – eventually managing to claw my way out… Most of the difficulties stem from a hard drinking mother, I know she loved me in her own way but “the drinks” grip was iron and luckily I was on the streets before she had to choose between me and another vodka tonic… I carry around a picture from those days to help me remember where I came from….

Mom taught me early to see things from all sides.....

Where was my father during all this? Doing his own stretch for various offenses, in and out of lock up most of his life, seems while in the joint he met some people and long story short eventually found himself working as an “Enforcer” for Pablo Escobar during the Colombian Drug lords salad days… occasionally he would drop by asking us to get rid of guns or some such…

So basically I was left to raise myself and my little sister, poor little kid riddled with fetal alcohol syndrome, luckily I didn’t have 2 mouths to feed for very long because as soon as she turned 9, I sold her into a white slavery ring in Grimsby. Huh, that’s funny, hadn’t thought of that in years I wonder what happened to her… cute little big fore-headed kid… vacant stare, gap-toothed, you really had to look hard to notice the lazy eye… but as the saying goes there is someone for everybody and I imagine she has since settled down with some equally challenged husband…. or maybe not, for all I know she could have a bunch of kids all by different fathers….  who’s to say….

Out of all this drama and turmoil came a spirit and ferocious determination to succeed. After the early sporting setback with the coach I made a pact with myself that the next time I stepped on the field it would be as  a starter and I would accept nothing less. So I worked, night and day, training – living, breathing, eating, sleeping sports. Some people have a knack for numbers or are mechanically inclined, for me, it was a gazelle-like elegance and nimbleness of foot, the speed of a cheetah and the strength of a Clydesdale… I was the original Manimal…. My pain threshold was off the charts and as such I could take a beating and get right back up and into the fray. Before Football, I boxed briefly as a black man in back alley bare knuckle tough man competitions and had one pro fight – see picture of my face being crushed and what ended up finishing my boxing career before it really began…

Cleverly using my face to absorb all his power... in the end, the strategy was faulty.

Once I woke up – flat on the canvass, I sprang up and ran, before the ref could count me out I was off like a shot, running in giant Gazelle, Savannah leaps and bounds. that was when the scout spotted me – he was late to the fight and in town scouting some local high school athletes – I passed him getting out of his taxi as a leapt clear over the hood and continued on. He climbed back in, mouth agape and barked at the cabbie to follow that kid. When he finally caught up to me his shock was two-fold  – one at the sheer physicality and two my speed has caused the majority of my “black man” make-up from the fight to have worn off and he couldn’t believe his eyes. Signed me to a full ride scholarship at UCLA on the spot. My first y ear, where I did in fact step back on that field as a started I shattered all the rushing records set years earlier by one Forest Gump. My records stand to this day and I was the unanimous choice to receive the Heisman that year, and every year of my playing career….

Why didn’t I turn pro… well in my senior year I badly hurt my hoof and almost had to be put down, eventually they realized, after several X-Rays I wasn’t really a Gazelle but a human, they patched me up and sent me on my way, but my playing days were over… quite a story….

The Pulitzer Prize is awarded yearly in 23 categories encompassing Journalism, Literature and Music. This right here, what you’ve just read is one hell of a story and can easily be slotted into either journalism or one of several literature categories – it’s a unique human interest story and folks, you can’t make this stuff up – we’ve all heard how truth is stranger than fiction – well here’s the proof, ain’t no story stranger…. I’ve only scratched the surface but if I told you any more you’d have to spend the rest of Saturday in bed recovering…. so I’ll keep the story coming in little easily digestible parts.

Have a GREAT DAY.

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