Updated: Mar 27
Brand new day, means a brand new chance to change. Improving consistently is the key, seriously. We can all turn our energy from bad to good very quickly if we learn how to recycle all of your experiences into learning events that arm us for the future. Some of you may not know this but half my face is filled with titanium plates under my eye, cheek, and not far from my right temple. Hence the bat to the face title. This is about taking tragedy to triumph.
The year was 2005 in Düsseldorf Germany. I’ll spare a lot of details because Rastafari doesn’t deal with snitching. But the scene was simple. I was playing pro football for the Minnesota Vikings at the time and was allocated to play NFL Europe. The team I played for was a complete joke. I got to the team after being traded from Frankfurt in May 2005. The night of this event was a normal night so to speak. Thursdays weren’t bad actually. The group and I rolled out to the Checker night spot like usual and began to walk up the outside stairs to enter the establishment. We where then stopped by a bunch of Turkish security people who all where about 5’9 at the time. Apparently one of my teammates didn’t pay his tab and they where not going to let him in. I remember speaking German to all of them, they seen me before, we worked it out. It was no big deal to us. In this area there are about 30 other places we can go. We will go somewhere else. Being the good teammate right ?! If he can’t get in then we aren’t coming in no matter if he’s right or wrong. Well this embarrassed and angered the cheap, dumb ass, inmature, coward ass player who even had his wife beside him. Of course he denied it. Then as we are leaving he decides to spit in the face of one of the security people.
The security team ran in but I knew from me understanding their language at the time that they where coming back out with either help or weapons. As we continue to walk away I find myself in the back of the group making sure people are walking but I felt it coming. All of sudden I turn around and the security was running toward us with bats, samurai swords, chains and even knives. This is how I know I’m not the same as anyone. Off instinct alone I turned toward the crowd and put my fist up ready. Meanwhile 12 others ran off. I saw two men who I knew on the security team run up and stop but their eyes went to the left of me. That’s when I felt the bat literally make a “tink” sound right off my skull. I laughed like a mad men because yes I’m from Buffalo NY, we will go out with a smile. I fell to the ground looking up at feet hitting me, a guy with a sword trying to cut my kneck, I smiled at him and gave him my neck as a target to cut. I heard the screams of the wife of the coward player who started this and I still can’t get it out of my head. She was watching all this happen. I had one rider who I’m told tackled the person with the sword causing him to drop it and then the person with the sword walked away. I came to after blacking out with bleeding from my eyes, nose, and mouth. My jaw was out of place, my head done, first thought was my NFL days are done.
The local paper reported a whole different story even putting me on the cover. Stating there was a fight, we apparently hit someone and they passed out so there was a response. Not even close to being true. So I saw how this was going to play out. I knew who did it from the streets letting me know. The truth started to funnel down and the security from checkers understood they had made a mistake on who they attacked. My mission was to save my career. By the grace of Jah I did. I was flown in a Med-Jet where I was able to get off at Iceland, yes Iceland, I can say I was there for 4 hours and yes I left the airport so that counts lol. We flew into Birmingham, Alabama where I had 6 hour surgery. They took out my cheek bone by cutting inside of my mouth to minimize the scarring. All in all I was out for 6 weeks and was cleared for contact 2 days before training camp. I made it through saved my career that same year.
Nothing legally happened to anyone involved. But I’ll leave it at that. I was allocated by the San Diego Chargers at the time to go back in 2007. This time I stayed with Frankfurt. On our away games I came back to Düsseldorf fully healed. They all thought it was a ghost. I even took a nice stroll to the scene, looked up at the security, they saw me, recognized me, then walked in the club with the quickness. I was back and it was handled. Triumph over tragedy.
This is just one of the many stories or battles I’ve been through. This made me stronger then ever. I literally felt as if I died and came back. I also have no fear of it. When you know the truth, your faith tells you that we all live forever no matter what. I still get angry at this event sometimes. But the scars are battle wounds, they tell a story. I hope everyone knows you can make it through anything. Hold the faith. You will live forever.