It's hard to watch a football game at any level without seeing at least a couple of guys who started here in East Texas.
The national championship game?
Two tyler guys won it.
The Super Bowl?
Three local players on the field.
Our players have won championships everywhere from the NFL to the CFL to the Arena League. This week, a couple of our pros were home again, including the NFL's reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, Adrian Peterson. AD was back in Palestine yesterday for the second annual Adrian Peterson Day. The seventh overall pick set records last year for the Minnesota Vikings including an all-time record 296 yards rushing against San Diego. Peterson said he's proud to represent his home town.
"I'm proud of Palestine," he said. "I come back, and they support me like this. I wear it on my sleeve, I never forget where I come from. I know I'm keeping it close. I get reminded almost every day in the locker room. With my accent, they know I come from the country."
Another couple of NFL players are home this week, Josh and Luke McCown of Jacksonville. Josh is with Miami, Luke with Tampa Bay, and both are back for their passing camp next weekend.
The McCown brothers say they know they have to be good examples, both of East Texas, and for East Texans.
"They know what it's about," Josh said. "The first thing when you talk to other players is always, 'What's the high school football like down there, is it really like they say it is, like we see in the movies?' It's cool to get to share with them your experiences."
"Everybody's always wanting to pick out star players that have made a mistake or a bad decision," Luke said. "We want to try and set an example for the kids that watch us play that you don't have to act that way. There's a way to make right decisions."
The McCown brothers, including former Texas A&M quarterback Randy McCown, will hold their sixth annual passing camp next weekend and will bring players like Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald to town. Peterson has started his own AD Foundation, and said he wants to start a camp next summer back in Palestine.
Reid Kerr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.