By Dekoda Watson
For SN Today
We had a talk the night before the Georgia Tech game, and we decided we would walk arm-in-arm out of the tunnel all the way to the sideline--we'd do it together--in support of Coach Bobby Bowden and our program. Nobody is going to break up our home and our family. This is our family and this is what it all comes down to here. We're going to be together, and we're not going to talk down our coaches.
It wasn't only for our program, but for the fans--the true
It just kind of shocks me how things have gone lately. Why
would anybody say anything to try to bring down a great man like Bobby Bowden?
We try to do a lot of good as human beings, but it seems like if you mess up
just one time, everybody forgets everything you did before. You're a bad person
and you're not looked at the same.
That's what shows you the type of people who are out there. It's a lot of fake and phony fans. They're not real fans--they're the ones who are only here when we're winning. A true fan is one who is here during the hard times.
Let me tell you how much character that man has. For him to say to us before the game, 'Don't go out there and play for me, it's not about me, it's about y'all.' What does that say about him? He told us to ignore all this stuff in the media, and don't play the game just for him. How can you knock a man like that? I think everything that's going around him would affect me if it had a big effect on him, but it doesn't--so we're not going to let it affect the team.
He's the same guy now that came to my living room when I was in high school. Nothing has changed. When he came to my house, it was like he was at home--the things he did and talked about, the way he presented himself. My mom is a very religious woman, my whole family is. He wasn't just talking all football. He told us that he wanted his boys to go to heaven, and that was the most important thing. I knew right then and there that's where I wanted to go. Football would play itself out, but this was a man who could help me pursue where I needed to be to be a better person. Football is not your God, and it won't always make you happy.
A lot of people look at him and think he's just old and this and that, but his mind is more powerful than you'll ever know. He knows my sisters' names, and my mom's name--he remembers important things. He's a phenomenal man. I'm happy to have had an opportunity to play for a legend here. I was sitting at a table at his house for a senior dinner, and I asked coach to pass me the butter. I mean, I was sitting in a legend's house asking if he could pass me the butter, but you wouldn't have known he was a legend. He doesn't think he's bigger than you.
Even though they're trying to take those wins off his record, he'll still be Bobby Bowden. He's still going to have that statue outside. You can't completely knock him off--he will always be a legend in football.
--As told to Brian McLaughlin