During last month’s NFL combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, a young quarterback from a meager upbringing had a performance that seemed to solidify his ranking as a top-three signal-caller and guarantee his prestigious position in the upcoming NFL Draft (taking place from May 8 through 10). The young quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater from the University of Louisville, had already amassed a convincing body of work throughout his successful career as a 3-year starter for the NCAA Division-I school and was thought by many to be the most “pro-ready” candidate in this draft class of quarterbacks.
After a poor showing during the University of Louisville’s NFL Pro Day on March 20, the talking heads who speculate NFL talent (with varying degrees of certainty) deemed the young quarterback “undersized” and said that he lacked the necessary throwing skills to accurately and powerfully deliver the ball at the next level. In one day, and during one poor showing, three-years of excellence, three-years of winning, and three-years of awe-inspiring highlights were wiped out and young Teddy began to tumble down the proverbial draft board, falling out of most critics “top 5” for the position and being left little hope of a first round selection.
For folks who have always fought back from adversity, what others say is of little concern. Such was the case with Teddy and his mother Rose Murphy. For the former college football standout he needed to look no farther for inspiration than his tenacious mother who has raised four children of her own, been a team “mother” to countless other boys, and survived breast cancer during Teddy’s final years of high-school. When the young man was only in the third grade he made his mom a promise. He told her that he would one day give her a new Cadillac, when he made it to the NFL. When Rose was in the height of her battle with breast cancer, Teddy’s high school football team mates recount instances of his coming to practice and breaking down in tears at the prospect of losing the family Matriarch, his beloved mother Rose.
There is little doubt that when the critics began to disparage this young man, the courage built from past struggles came to bear. As it was stated that this young man lacked composure and focus; that he could never be the “face of an NFL franchise”, he clung to the toughness and hope that been instilled in him through previous battles. He was driven by the weight of promises made to his mother who had worked to raise her children in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, with all of the challenges which that entails.
Fortunately for Teddy Bridgewater, America’s luxury automaker was made aware of the promise he had made Rose, so many years ago. Despite all of the negativity coming from speculators, Teddy and Rose made the trip to New York to be in Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft Extravaganza. The fact that the draft fell on Mother’s Day weekend was too much for Cadillac executives to ignore and they determined that Teddy would be given a 2015 Escalade, with which to fulfill his promise to Rose. In celebration of Rose’s victorious battle against breast cancer, the new Escalade was painted bright pink with specially designed pink wheels. In a first class production, the stunning pink Escalade was presented to a thoroughly surprised and slightly reluctant Rose outside New York’s iconic Le Cirque Restaurant where she hugged her son and smiled a smile that can spring forth only when fueled by a mother’s love.
Later that night, Teddy was selected by the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, with the final pick of the first round. This seems to be the perfect situation for his continued success in the game of football — see what happens when you keep your promises to Mom. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers of the world, especially mine.