RIP Geno Hayes
A teammate I came to know very well as we played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Six years we shared the same team and specifically the same side of the ball: defense. I think a reason football is so unique, is that as teammates we see our brothers on our days of defeat and on our glorious days of victory. As one can imagine this forms a unique bond, one where is I see a guy 15 years later we pick up exactly where we left off.
After leaving the league guys paths diverge many different ways. Some guys move on to become more successful off the field: becoming businessmen or tv personalities, but unfortunately for the majority confusion and depression take over in the following years in retirenebt. Because of the many paths our men face we often go our superstar ways and rarely talk. We think “maybe when I get to a place where I’ve found my new passion I’ll reach back out to old friends” because nobody wants to be the guy calling and old teammate asking for money or sounding so depressed, right?
No body wants to be seen as a sign of weakness…
So we hide.
I’m guilty of this too. In ways I am hiding, we are all trying to figure this thing out. But gone our the days of perfectionism. We need to be more compassionate to our selves, forgive, and learn how to take our time.
In the “real world”, people take baby steps…from the outside it may seem like people have “it factor” to become successful. That’s not always the case…I couldn’t tell you how many people I knew who were the most talented that never really made it to their potential.
The most important reason I say all of this is because hiding cuts you off from those that need you…those that love you….the word says their is no greater commandment than to love each other..we can’t do that hiding. Hiding shows a lack of faith. There is no blue print for doing what you haven’t done before we must first shake off our fears.
In retrospect, I could have checked on Geno more often. I texted him about theee times and it bothered me he didn’t respond. I was literally upset at him I thought he just didn’t want to talk to me. But in reality I heard he just didn’t want anyone to know his weaknesses.
I pray for the children of the Hayes family, your father was a man! I shared the field with him for over six years he loved what he did. Please know if you ever needed to confide in someone I am always here for you.
For those of us reading we need to stop hiding from those that need us most am I’m including myself..
Rest In Peace Geno