No, this is not a posting blasting New England football, its just the opposite. While the murder of Odin Lloyd continues its ugly unraveling, I pause to question just who this young man was and what talents as a football player and person he may have been blessed with.
I know that he was a defensive member of the Boston Bandits semi-pro football team, but a search on their website only gives one game in 2011 where he's credited with a sack. It probably reflects more the reportage on semi-pro football than the play of Lloyd. What we as fans of the game must try to remember is the hard work, comittment and as NFL Films legend the late Steve Sabol would have stated, license to dream of playing professional football.
We don't have college stats to measure the talents Odin Lloyd might have brought to the New Englanf Patriots, but we know he still held onto that dream that every pop warner player holds onto as long as he can; to play in the NFL. Lloyd was on the cusp of possibly fulfilling that dream. He was being given a chance to pit his talents against the best in the game.
We football fans get so wrapped up in the glitter and excitement of the Pro Football big stage, that sometimes we forget the challenges and sacrifices these young men made to make it there. I'm sure Odin Lloyd's family lived his dream with him and felt his growing pangs of disappointment on the road to a pro career. It is the Odin family who after their time of grief will carry the success of this young man forward. They'll do it by sharing his dream, dedication and glory with others. Imagine getting that call from the Patriots to report to training camp. Someone in his family was fortunate to share that ultimate moment with Odin and witnessed his elation.
There are many, many young football players who tonight will dream the same dreams that Lloyd did. These men will come upon many obstacles and setbacks and at some point will question if its worth it; will their chance ever come.
Usually there is some lesson learned and blessing revealed after going through a tragedy. Let the lesson of this tragic occurrence be one of comittment and courage. For the Lloyd family and young men following in Odin's footsteps, know that his dream is now on your shoulders. You will be the one to carry his torch through life. He showed you how tcourage and comittment to follow a dream can lead to success. If someday we hear from the lips of a person being honored for their success the name of Odin Lloyd being announced as their inspiration, we'll know that the torch and dream have have not been carried forward in vain.
To have been blessed with being a part of someone's life who nurtured a dream and tended it with the graceful skill of a gardner, must be like watching the hands of God tending and pruning the vines just so, so that the branch will bare good fruit in abundance.
Odin will join other fallen Boston Bandits comerades who are gone but never forgotten.