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Clinton Portis Gets Serious


(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Serious, as in, not funny. Extremely not funny. This has already been noted by Hog Heaven, but after Clinton Portis discussed his newfound fatherhood with Mike Wise this week, he went on Comcast SportsyNet with Kelli Johnson yesterday and revealed that he had previously lost a child.

And in answering her question--which concerned Sean Taylor--he also displayed something of the Cooley Theorem, in a completely different context, which, it goes without saying, I completely endorse. This is football. It's entertainment. It isn't that serious. Here's Portis:

"I think what people never realize is we go through the same thing that the normal, average person go through. You know, everybody say 'Ohhhh, we lost Sean.' Actually, my best friend mom passed, my grandmother passed, I lost a child, and THEN I lost Sean. So people never know what you're dealing with, what's on your mind, or what you're going through.

"It's always a criticism of football. It's not always football. It's a lot of problems outside, you know? We normal. I have the same stress and the same pain that you have. The only difference is because I'm on TV and I'm put in the spotlight and my money is publicized, it's like I can't have problems outside of football. Well, I DO. I have a heart. I get feelings. And I care about different stuff....

"Sean just was the cap. It was like all of this happening, and all of the sudden you get the appreciation, like 'Man, my life could be gone tomorrow.' Or, 'This could be taken away from me so suddenly.' Or the things that I really complain about, they not that serious. So right now, I'm gonna speak my mind, I'm gonna say what I must, if it's really not that big and I seem nonchalant about it, well, I don't think it's that serious."

Yow. Right. Losing a child, even an unborn child = serious. Losing a football game = non-serious.

And just minutes before Portis dropped that bomb, he had been discussing Jim Zorn's announcement that his starting back wouldn't play in the Hall of Fame game.

"If they ask me to play in it, I'll play in it," he said. "If they choose to sit me out, thanks. I'm to the point where I'm not fighting, I'm not against it. Hey, if you put me in, I get hurt, that's up to y'all. I refuse to keep saying [stuff] and making me look like an outcast: 'Oh, I don't want to do it, I'm not doing it, I'm not doing it.'

"If they want me on the field, put me on the field. Whatever happen, happen. You know, if it's meant to go down, it's meant to go down. Now that I look back a couple years ago being [hurt] in preseason, that was really the best thing to happen to me. Having an opportunity to get hurt, which brought more criticism, but at the same time it gave me an appreciation of my gift and made me enjoy football even more. So now that I have the opportunity, whether I'm playing in preseason or playing during the season, put the ball in my hands. I've got to do what I've got to do."

Within one four-minute interview, he discussed one of the most tragic things that could happen to a human being, and talked happily about "having the opportunity to get hurt." Pretty amazing interview. You can watch part of it here.

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 24, 2008; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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