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Foote Finds His Calling

We don’t like some of the moves the Lions have made during the 2009 offseason.  Others, we like.
One, we love.
Linebacker Larry Foote brings a new attitude into the team’s locker room, along with a couple of big-ass rings that he can dangle like diamond-encrusted carrots in the faces of the team’s young players.
But he also has a perspective that will provide a positive influence for his teammates and the young people in Detroit.
And Foote is committed to making an impact on the youth of his hometown.
“It happened a year and a half ago and God really opened my eyes,” Foote tells Terry Foster of the Detroit News.  “He was really disappointed in me.  I was caught up in living the life.  I was a typical NFL player.  I was not as wild as most or getting in trouble.  I was just doing as I pleased.  I was evaluating things one night and God just said, ‘If you aren’t going to do what I called you to do, I don’t need you.’ . . .
“I went to too many funerals.  One night, I was just sitting up and feeling really dirty.  I didn’t even have a foundation set up, and I am wondering what am I doing?  I was helping people but I wasn’t doing what I was called to do.”
And so Foote is establishing a foundation, and he wants to open a charter school in Detroit for middle school and high school students.  Foote also hopes to find a home for the Body of Believers Outreach Ministry, which he co-founded with Pastor Maurice Hardwick, a boyhood friend.
Foote started his work in Pittsburgh, and he’s already missed there.
“They wouldn’t listen to anybody,” Adrienne Young, who works with families who have lost young people to violence, told Foster.  “Let me tell you, he had them broken down in tears.  It was amazing.  Larry Foote made such an impact here.  People are still calling asking, will he come back.  We don’t care about Detroit and Pittsburgh.  We loved him.  I mean he got out in the streets in the worst part of Pittsburgh.”
In Detroit, there’s even more people who could benefit from his influence.
And he’ll have even more credibility with them if he can help find a way to turn around what has been a terrible football team.
Though we’re officially neutral on matters of this nature, it’s hard not to root for him.

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14 Responses to “Foote Finds His Calling”
  1. EaglesFan05 says: Jun 23, 2009 12:33 PM

    Florio – you’ve previously made this statement about Kurt Warner:
    ” ‘…[W]here Warner and others sometimes cross the line is when they purport to have a direct line to God and rely on Him to help with decisions.’
    I fear God as much as anyone. You’ll never see or hear me use the Lord’s name in vain, and far more often that not I delete or edit reader comments that do so. But whenever folks suggest that they’ve got God on speed dial, I can’t help but wonder whether they’re trying in a roundabout way to flaunt the notion that the clarity with which God guides their actions makes them somehow better than the rest of us.”
    You then went on to mention it about Warner multiple times. Now even though these are different circumstances, you have to be fair and even-handed about your “God on speed dial” line. I didn’t see any mention of this in your column. I’m not even a Kurt Warner fan, or a religious fanatic one way or the other, just keep it consistent.

  2. andrewbillerbeck says: Jun 23, 2009 12:34 PM

    great story florio. seriously.

  3. Mike Florio says: Jun 23, 2009 12:40 PM

    @eaglesfan05 . . .
    great point.
    i am far less skeptical of such proclamations when they are made in connection not with a guy deciding which employer is going to pay him millions of dollars, but with what a man is going to do with his life.
    with warner, i think it’s calculated to make him look pious. with foote, it rings as truth.

  4. Kevin from Philly says: Jun 23, 2009 1:00 PM

    Yeah Mike, I’m always a little suspicious of the Holy Rollers – but if he’s walking the walk you have to accept his talking the talk. That said, I wish him luck but I think he’ll find the worst parts of Detroit a lot more daunting than the worst parts of Pittsburgh.

  5. Tempus fugit says: Jun 23, 2009 1:00 PM

    At times this site is too given into rumor, base speculation and unabashed character assassination. And at times you do the NFL community a service. This is one of those times.
    If this is the new PFT/NBC, thats great.

  6. F00kFl0ri0 says: Jun 23, 2009 1:06 PM

    You know I usually bash you (I think it’s in my DNA, hell look at my name). But this is truly a good story….. I wish there were more stories like this to counter your “Days Without An Arrest” meter. I know “if it bleeds, it leads”, but come on get out of your ambulance chasing habit and find the good within the NFL, especially those in poor communities….
    With that being said, I’m going to continue to bash you, even for the good work that you sometimes do…..

  7. mofo7 says: Jun 23, 2009 1:54 PM

    Let’s not forget that Terry Foster of the Detroit News deserves the credit for reporting the elusive and rare story about an NFL player that doesn’t involve a crime or a contract dispute. Florio deserves credit for choosing to put up a summary of it on his blog.
    And also to be clear, Larry Foote knows all about the worst parts of Detroit considering that’s where he was born and raised. I doubt he’s in for any surprises.
    All that said, yes. It’s very refreshing to read positive stories about this select group of fortunate men who are paid big coin to play a game, yet still choose to dedicate themselves in earnest toward making the community better. Notwithstanding whether or not God yelled at Larry to go take a shower because he was up late feeling dirty.

  8. EaglesFan05 says: Jun 23, 2009 2:52 PM

    Florio – That was my point too when I said different circumstances. Warner is using it for his own greed, where Foote is trying to help the less privileged in our society.
    I completely understand, I’m just used to your fairness across the board.
    Anyway, huge fan, live off your site, congrats on the NBC deal…..They should have you on NBC sitting right next to Olbermann on Sunday nights so someone can actually provide some witty sarcastic humor and pop the hole in Olbermann’s head to let out all that hot air.

  9. ncoolong says: Jun 23, 2009 3:31 PM

    While he says he didn’t use his gifts to their fullest potential until recently, Larry Foote was always reported to be a great locker room leader, and generally a great guy when in Pittsburgh. While as a fan, I’ll miss him greatly in Pittsburgh, it sounds like he’s ready to help both a struggling franchise and an embattled city.
    Best of luck, Larry, your fans in Pittsburgh know you’ll be “stompin’ out” whatever’s in your way.

  10. Golden_Monkey says: Jun 23, 2009 3:35 PM

    I’ve followed Foote since Michigan first recruited him. He’s a great player and a class act. Thanks for representing the state of Michigan in such a fine way Larry.

  11. Heinekenfun says: Jun 23, 2009 3:51 PM

    Christ…, another God-Squadder
    If the NFL wants to develop new revenue streams, then they should look into NFL Ministries. As far as I can tell…, God speaks directly to more NFL players then anyone else.

  12. eaglesinthesuperbowl says: Jun 23, 2009 4:23 PM

    Way to go Larry Foote, hope ya tear it up this year

  13. spyboots says: Jun 23, 2009 6:13 PM

    @ Heinekenfun
    Perhaps because they quit doing all the talking and actually stop to LISTEN to Him.

  14. bigwalt2990 says: Jun 23, 2009 6:20 PM

    Everyone’s bought their new Foote jersey right?

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