I had a hard time getting to sleep last night after hearing of the tragedy here in the Crescent City…of a 23 year old mother who snuffed out the lives of her two children…shooting her 3 year old son and drowning her 4 year old daughter. I couldn’t get those final moments of terror for those two toddlers out of my mind, but I did take comfort in my faith and knowing that God had two new angels.
There was a time in my life, fifteen or so years ago, where, when I heard of something like this, sheer bloodlust would have taken over and I would have immediately thought of punishment and retribution…insisting that justice be meted out in a swift, harsh and sever manner. But something’s changed. I don’t know if I’m smarter, softer or have just been going to church more. Maybe it’s because I’m a parent. But the main thing I feel now is compassion for all involved.
Sure, we have a safe haven law. But while that makes perfect sense to you and me and people who are in their right minds (and please don’t think I mean criminally insane), I don’t think that means anything to somebody who would actually execute their children. Make no mistake about it. That mother has to answer for the murders of those two innocent gifts from God. I just think the approach has to come from a more intelligent place than “string her up” or “torture her until she screams.” Because ANYTHING that we can learn to prevent ANY precious child from suffering again would, to my way of thinking, offset ANY good feeling an act of revenge would afford us.
I was honored to be joined by Joe Unitas this morning on the eve of Drew Brees breaking his father's 52-year NFL record of making a TD pass in 47 consecutive games.
Joe sent a great letter last week to Drew after #9 tied Johnny Unitas' record, and I asked him about what prompted him to write it.
"It's just the right thing to do," Joe told me. "I just wanted Drew to know that I was proud of him, and my family was, and if my Dad was here, he'd tell him the same thing."
The younger Unitas said that growing up as the son of a legend game him a unique perspective.
"I understand that these guys are people just like you and I are, and sometimes it's nice if you can get a pat on the back or good luck from somebody," he said. "Drew's worked very, very hard and has overcome a lot of adversity in his life and on the football field, and I just figured...we should just let him know that the Unitas family is proud of him and is pulling for him."
Here's the classy letter he wrote to Drew Brees. By the way, you can get more on the Unitas We Stand Foundation by clicking HERE...
October 2, 2012
New Orleans Saints
5800 Airline Dr.
Metairie, LA 70003
I wanted to take a minute to congratulate you on tying my father’s record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. I’ve been following your pursuit of the record since last season. I’m a big fan of yours, and wish you the best Sunday night against San Diego as you try to break the record. My father always said that records were meant to be broken. I know that if he was still with us that he would wish you the best as well.
When I look back on my father’s life I remember a man who was much bigger than the game of football. The things he would appreciate most about you have nothing to do with football; it’s about who you are as a person. You’re a role model for today’s youth, a family man, and a humanitarian who cares for his community. My father would tell you these are the important things in life, not some record in a book.
Continue to be a leader for your team and the City of New Orleans. You’re a great quarterback but even better man. Stay healthy and safe this week and in the future. My family and I will be watching Sunday night cheering for you. Best of luck.