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Oakland Raider linebacker Rolando McClain and Decatur, Alabama have taken a beating via the Raider Nation Times, the on-line publication of Raiders fans known as the Raider Nation.
Only McClain should have been giving the publication drubbing.
McClain, native of Decatur and former Alabama Crimson Tide All-American, was found guilty on May 17 of third-degree assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and discharging a firearm in Decatur city limits stemming from an incident in 2011. The presiding judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail.
The 22-year old McClain has had to put himself in an adult world, though he is clearly not mature enough to match his age. Always a star athlete, McClain is known to be a trouble maker and a cocky attitude even in his young age. Most around him say he still has those personality flaws. Add to the fact he can’t let go of his “boys in the hood” routine and understand he is now a money-making machine and product of the National Football League.
The Raider Nation Times presented Decatur as a city of above average crime and possibly the root cause of McClain’s problems. In McClain’s defense, he came from a broken family and turned to sports as a way to try and stay out of the drubs and crime that were constantly around him. But when he made a visit back home last year, he stepped into that “hood” for a short time and could not just walk away as a responsible adult.
McClain grew up, out of necessity, as a strong-willed, arrogant youth of Decatur, just to survive. Today, he has the NFL world of success at his fingertips. He must remove himself from his old buddies of home. No, he doesn’t need to forget where he came from. But he need not go back there. Grow up McClain.
The Alabama Hammers host its final home game and one of two remaining games on its 2012 season schedule June 9 at the VBC. The Hammers will not be making the Arena Football playoffs, but, with our support, hopefully return in 2013 with a much better performing squad. I still believe the game is fast and exciting to watch and we, as a community, need to support this sports endeavor or, like many teams before them, the program will exit Huntsville leaving a void in our community. Go Hammers!
Kevin Rose has kicked off his summer workouts for his Bob Jones High football program. The players are encouraged to attend the four-day a week workouts in preparation for the upcoming 2012 fall season. The workouts will take a well-deserved break the first week of July for the Fourth of July holiday before getting back into action in July. There are 160 student-athletes participating.
Meanwhile, Rose and his staff are preparing for the annual 7-on-7 Tournament set for June 21 and 22 at Bob Jones. The passing tournament is always an exciting event with teams from across the Southeast usually in attendance. This year, teams included are Spain Park, Austin, Madison Academy, Hamilton, Hazel Green, and Madison County. Admission is $5 for those wanting to attend the spectacular event.
Rose is also getting his gear together for the annual Bob Jones Youth Football Camp. The camp will be held 8-10 a.m. June 18-20. Fee is $75 per student. The camp is being sponsored by Breland Homes.
Huntsville Stars Baseball
Our local boys of summer will head back into the confines of Joe Davis Stadium June 13-17 for a five-game home stand. The Stars are playing a great brand of baseball right now among the top teams in the Southern League. The Stars remain a great entertainment value for the family.
Minor League Baseball recently calculated the average of teams across the country and announced that the average cost for a family of four to attend a Minor League Baseball game is $61.23. The total includes the prices of two adult tickets, two child tickets, four hot dogs, two sodas, two beers, a program and parking. What a deal!
John Stallworth Celebrity Event
I’m proud to say again I was a part of the annual John Stallworth Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament held recently at Hampton Cove Golf Course. Though my involvement has changed the last few years due to my work load, John has always been gracious enough to keep me involved in whatever way I can, as I was once a big-part of the planning and running of the annual golf tourney.
The tournament play was held on Friday, with the pre-event celebrity auctions and meet-greet held the night before at the Marriot. My duty as MC for the celebrity introductions on the Thursday evening event has always been one of the highlights of my year as I have the privilege of introducing each celebrity to the large crowd in attendance. Each celebrity is teamed up with a paying team for the action on Friday.
One of this year’s celebrities was Conredge Holloway, who is regarded as the greatest athlete ever to come from Huntsville. The Lee High product had the chance to play Major League Baseball straight out of high school, but instead went on to star for the Tennessee Volunteers and then to the Canadian Football League where he was a superstar quarterback. Today, Conredge is associate athletic director at Tennessee.
My biggest highlight of playing high school sports was the day I struck out Conredge twice in one game. The third time at the plate, he hit a 400-foot homerun. So much for my glory. But I still have that memory.
By Bob Labbe