Knee Deep in an NCAA Violation #StoryTimeWithDJMoore

My sophomore season at Vanderbilt was much different than my freshman year experience. After a successful sophomore season in the Southeastern Conference, random people started calling me wanting to represent me. I can remember thinking it all seemed shady, but I took the meetings anyway. I always told people to meet me at PF Chang’s right below campus. Hard to pass on a free meal.  There was one meeting I accepted that took me completely off guard. A coach from the university called me and told me he had a good friend who wanted to meet me. I agreed to the meeting not sure what it was about. I had …
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Weird BBQ at Hester’s House #StoryTimeWithEarl

Nothing beats a good team bonding experience than getting together with some great food. Before I became a vegetarian, I thoroughly enjoyed grilled chicken wings and lamb. The smoky, hickory flavor absorbed by taste buds made cookouts worthwhile. Attach that mouth-watering feeling with being around your favorite teammates taking in the fresh summer breeze, and it was pure joy.   The music is blasting through the speakers, and everyone is joking and having fun. I always enjoyed going to Devin’s house because it is still the most massive and best-looking home I have ever encountered. Devin was a great host, and everyone at the BBQ was excited to be there. The …
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The Rookie Dinner #StoryTimeWithJP

2009, week 6. The day was set for me and another fellow rookie to take the secondary out to what is called, “The Rookie dinner.” I had heard plenty of stories from the past that were not encouraging, but I wanted to have a good time and enjoy the night. We all get to Ruth’s Chris Steak House at 7pm. They take our group to a secluded back room where expensive looking champagne and liquor bottles were set up nicely and circled the entire room. The waitress is opening a particular champagne bottle and filling glasses every other second. Another waiter is bringing food in every five minutes, well at least that’s how it seemed. The veteran players were starting to fill the room, and I noticed something wrong immediately. Most of the players brought either …
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Mouth Wrote Check My Ass Couldn’t Cash #StoryTimeWithDJMoore

Personally, I always enjoyed Jay Cutler.  Sour face and all, I appreciated his company no matter how brief.  After a game against Green Bay, the way I looked at him changed.  Jamarcus Webb was having a tough game. This was something that happened with young players from time to time.  I didn’t witness the play where Cutler pushed Webb, but I remember being upset when I saw it on ESPN the next morning. Now Webb is a big fella compared to Cutler, but you can understand the significance of pushing another teammate in any capacity.   Frustration is understandable, but a player getting physical with a teammate for poor performance is not cool.    Arriving at the …
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A Failed Destiny Ploy #StoryTimeWithEarl

Training camp was always fun…for the first few days. Away from any distractions, playing football, dining and video gaming with teammates was cool. We knew there would be fights and disagreements, but at the end of the day everyone had one goal — bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Chicago. One particular instance at training camp garnered everyone’s attention.  As we began drills to start practice, we look up on the hill to see a guy in a helmet working out. He is doing pushups, sit-ups and cone drills.  Not only does he have the fans’ attention, but he has the players’ attention as well. We were like “Look at this guy. …
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The Mob #StoryTimeWithEarl

My first time inside of the Chicago Bears facility after the 2008 NFL Draft, I quickly found out who runs the show. You have front office personnel, coaches and security, but if you ask anyone within that organization who RAN the team, they will tell you these three words: THE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN.  The offensive lineman is totally different from other positions. They move, talk and laugh in sync. They travel in packs, and you will never catch one without the other. NEVER. Not walking, running, training room or locker room they are A MOB. Therefore, the last thing you want to do is fight a lineman.  In 2008, I was …
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The Stafford Onslaught #StoryTimeWithDJMoore

It was Sunday Night Football, a prime-time game with everyone watching two divisional teams about to battle.  The Monsters of the Midway were in prime form to destroy any offense that stepped on the field in 2011.  Everyone was getting ready in the locker room, and Anthony Adams was up to his usual locker room shenanigans. We were playing the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. I loved playing against the Lions.  Mathew Stafford tended to be careless with the football.  On this night, he was extra sloppy with the pigskin. I was excited because I knew I would have ample opportunities to impact the game.  In my wildest dreams, I …
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Bounty-Gate Victim #StoryTimeWithEarl

Playing football is a brutal sport. There is no doubt about it. That’s what makes it football. The gridiron, where warriors done equipment to battle out for who’s the best. Unfortunately, injuries happen frequently. A brutal injury I faced happened week two against the New Orleans Saints in 2011. QB #1 would always tell me to be careful, because how I played the game made me a target. I never thought twice about that comment until after the play that could have possibly cost me my life.  The second drive of the game we began to click. RB #1 had a 42-yard run that would put us in excellent field position. Four plays later we align for a passing play. I scout …
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McCown for the Win #StoryTimeWithEarl

For me, the Chicago Bears 2013 season started off as a blur. A concussion that ended my preseason and a pay cut that docked $1 Million was not a great start. Though the season started off rocky, things picked up during week seven when QB #2 entered the game. There are some players who are prepared to play every single game. Who know the offense like the back of their hands. This was QB #2. When QB #1 went down there was no doubt we were in good hands, because QB #2 had been waiting on his moment.  Everyone in the organization knew I had taken a pay cut. All …
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Hurd Away #StoryTimeWithEarl

Before December 15, 2011, I was always greeted by a jovial WR #4 on my entrance into the locker room. On this particular day, he was not there. The warm and charming smile that radiated in the morning was nowhere to be found. The receiver group bounced around the facility in hopes of finding him to defer any fines he would receive for missing meetings. We checked the hot tub, swimming pool, the field and even the bathrooms. Still, we could not locate WR #4 so we proceeded to the team meeting room.  During the team meeting, Coach Lovie Smith did not address the situation. But, when we split into …
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