Dec. 21, 2016
It was special to have him say ‘Son, I’m proud of you.’Jordan Diggs
I was probably 11 years old the last time my dad saw me play football.
To have my dad there in week one was awesome. I was starting at the nickel position. We were feeling good about what we had done in camp. For us to pull off an exciting win like that and for him to be there and experience that, it was a great moment. I remember after the game, hugging him real tight. I said ‘it was just good to have you here.’
He was on the field with me for senior day. It was emotional for all of us. For me, for him, and for my mom. We just huddled up, and all of us were crying. I was trying to hold it together and be tough. It was special to have him say ‘Son, I’m proud of you.’
Hearing him say that made everything I went through, worth it. To know that my father was proud of all the work I put in, and all that I have done, I don’t think a son could ask for more.
When my dad went to jail, I had to grow up fast. It made me stronger. It made me better for today. I was the male figure to my younger siblings. So if I could succeed, I could create opportunities for them and give them an example so they would have someone to look up to.
I wear the same jersey number as my dad. Number 42. It was always part of the family dream. All of us wanted to be the best in the family. In a way, we idolized him. I had listened to him talk about the team from ’84 through ’88. I heard about the ‘Fire Ant’ defense, ‘Black Magic,’ and Joe Morrison.
I know a lot of younger guys are watching me. In terms of kids from my neighborhood, I want them to see that I didn’t let the circumstances give me an excuse to be a failure. I wasn’t going to let those circumstances dictate the outcome of my life.
I know other kids may have it worse than me, so I’m going to keep fighting to work through anything. As long as I keep my faith in God, apply myself, and work hard; I know I’ll be alright.
That’s how I was raised.
To see more about Jordan Diggs and his story, check out this 2015 mini-documentary “A Fine Line – The Jordan Diggs Story.”