"Say it ain't so. Say it ain't so."
That was Earl Campbell's reaction to hearing that Tyler Independent School District was going to name the field at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium, "Earl Campbell Field". Campbell related the story, while talking to media, fans and plenty of family members at a press conference in Tyler this afternoon.
"I think it's going to give me more of a reason to come and make sure, to obligate myself to come and watch John Tyler play," said Campbell, "because I can always bring a buddy up and say, that's my field they're playing on."
"Anything we can do to get Earl back and more involved in Tyler and the school district is a positive," said TISD Superintendet Dr. David Simmons, "so this is a win win situation."
Earl took the time to thank a lot of people, including all of his former teammates, and especially his junior high and high school coach, Lawrence La Croix.
"I don't think there's a word in the dictionary or anywhere, can describe, what that guy, Coach La Croix, did for Earl Campbell," said Campbell. "That's the one who started teaching me how to be a man."
But of course, it was his mother, Ann Campbell, who received most of the credit.
"My mother always used to tell us, that if you're here at home and the police come, I can always tell them that you're home in bed," said Campbell. "But, if you're out there on the streets when the police come and ask for you, I cannot account for you."
"It makes me feel real great, that I've done something right," said Earl's mom Ann. "I really feel like the Lord smiled on me.
"[I] try do what that 82-year-old lady told me years ago," an emotional Earl said about his mother, "and that is try to always carry yourself in a way that you can always come home."
Earl plans to come home again on September 2. That is the day TISD plans to offically dedicate the field, prior to John Tyler's season opener against Texas High.