Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Philly Native & Minnesota Vikings Star, Sharrif Floyd, Hosts Charity Weekend

There is something special about Philadelphia sports. Known for our blue collar attitude, there is no doubt that our city produces special talents in every aspect! A city with the 5th largest population in the U.S., we have made our imprint in the sports world for sure. But for me and many others, as a football first guy, I have always bragged about the talent in our city, yet we have dealt with the stigma that "Philly is a basketball city." Although this has some truth to it, that notion is quickly becoming old folktale. The city has become acknowledged as a "recruiting hotbed" for college football recruiters in recent years. There are many reasons. One person who I feel played a huge role in pioneering this movement was 2013 1st round draft pick and Philly native, Sharrif Floyd.

Now that Floyd is a NFL player, he has continually been a blessing to his hometown. Floyd is often returning home to workout with his trainer, Greg Garrett of Level 40. He's been a familiar face at workouts, camps, or any other events where he can show his support for talent from Philadelphia. Young men in our city need to see that. And it's helping.

Floyd's charity weekend included a benefit for a fallen Philadelphia officer's family. Which was an awesome gesture in itself. Then on July 16th, Sharrif hosted a camp for Youth and HS football players on Temple's campus. The events' counselors included Philly natives who have made it to the NFL. The players included Al-Hajj Shabazz (Pittsburgh Steelers), Deion Barnes (NY Jets), Rasheed Bailey (Jacksonville Jaguars). The camp was awesome! But wait...the MOST impactful moment was before the camp had even started.

The campers were rounded up and seated in the conference room in Temple University's, Edberg-Olson Football Complex. They were typical young men, chatty as can be they were anxious to hit the field and show off their talents. The small talk ended very quickly though. Organizers of the camp created a forum for a potpourri of guests to speak. Speakers included each one of the players named above, a number of other NFLers, a Philly politician, and a few well known entertainers from Philly. They all spoke frankly about the trials and tribulations they had to deal with while chasing their dreams and becoming better men. 

(Ha) Let me tell you...these WERE NOT your average speeches. If you were unclear on what it took to get to the highest level coming from the city where you are counted out before you even start, you definitely had an idea after hearing the talks. Shabazz, a West Chester alum, talked frankly about being counted out because he was from a Division 2 school. How he had to work that much harder to even be taken seriously. He talked to the kids about finding a "why" outside of yourself. Voice raised and screaming with passion, Shabazz shouted, "It ain't going to be easy. You're going to go through things. My grandmother died, I loved her to death. When she was gone I knew I was going to give everything I had. It was for her!" The whole room was silent and you could feel the passion in his talk. After he finished the room cheered as if they were ready to play in a championship game. We were all pumped up!

It would be really hard for anyone to follow Shabazz's talk. So you'd think...well...Rasheed Bailey, who's no stranger to challenges, was up next. With such a difficult and heart-felt act to follow, he knocked it out of the park! He began by re-hashing many of the things that Shabazz had discussed. He talked about being your own man. "It is ok to be different." "You don't have to do what everyone else is doing, a matter of fact you can't!" Bailey played at Division III, Delaware Valley University. They are one of the most successful D3 programs around, but after talking to his coaches about his dreams of playing in the NFL, he knew he had to be different! These guys' words went right to my soul. I know this had to hit home with the athletes who are exactly where the NFL guys once were...Dreamers. Thank you to Sharrif Floyd and Level 40 training for the opportunity to coach QBs and be a part of this special moment!

My writing can't do these talks justice. Fortunately I was able to get some of Rasheed's speech on video. Click the link to check it out the video!

No comments:

Post a Comment