Not all are spoiled rotten athletes

The Atlanta Falcons Warrick Dunn tries to take out Osama bin Laden during an April 2005 visit to Afghanistan

Just to reinforce that all is not bad in the world, even with professional athletes, we get word that Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn has challenged his fellow NFL players to each donate $5,000 to relief for Hurricane Katrina victims. He asked that each player from each NFL team do that, except for those from the New Orleans Saints.

“I’m challenging guys on every NFL team, except the Saints, to donate at least $5,000 to help people come back from this catastrophe,” Dunn told “If we get players to do that, that would amount to $260,000 per team. I have heard from so many players both on my team and around the league who just want to do something. Well, this is the best thing that we can do and it’s something we should do.”

If, and it’s a big if, Baton Rouge native Dunn shames his fellow NFL players into ponying up, the players could raise some $8.2 million. I say big if, not really so much because of the players themselves but because of agents and everyone else who have their hooks into them. Dunn told the Sports Illustrated online site that he still does not know if his grandfather, who lived in New Orleans, “is dead, alive, at the Superdome, or on a bus somewhere.” I don’t know the details, so I will not judge.

On a side note, I worked as a newspaper reporter for almost 20 years and will likely be doing so occasionally on a freelance basis for some time to come. A reporter who is really into what it is they do craves the big story. It’s just part of their being. It’s not trying to sell more papers. It’s not trying to promote a political or personal agenda. Most could give a rat’s ass about such matters. Going after a big story is a thrill to behold. Plus you can get pretty caught up in what is black and white, you know, what is right? And it’s not a bad thing. With that said, I’ve seen a lot in my years and covered some pretty interesting stories. I can honestly say that I am glad I don’t have to witness what’s happening down in NOLA and the Mississippi Gulf Coast first hand right now. I’ve seen more bad stuff than many and probably not as much as some others. Like James Taylor said: “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.” But I’ve never seen the likes of what’s happening down there in the Katrina aftermath and neither do I want to. It’s going to be hard enough for me doing freelance work associated with this tragedy from the fringes.

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