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My Brief Career in The NFL

I played in 4 games during my brief career in the NFL during that incredible moment of the pebble in the sand. I was voted the Offensive Most Valuable Player of the Week of the entire NFL League in Week 13 of 1988 against the Green Bay Packers in the legendary outdoor stadium of Vince Lombardi. Then, I was voted Most Valuable Player against Don Shula and quarterback Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins in the Keys of Florida. I was then given the Game Ball by my coaches and teammates in week 15.

Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this wonderful story with some Southern gravy spread and break it down with some hot water corn bread and buttermilk. And we surely will not forget to include Grandma’s homemade peach cobbler and brown bucket swirled ice cream, too. It’s Show Time, Baby!

The lights are radiant bright, the ABC T.V. Production Crew is covering the action as it unfolds and the cameras are flickering in all directions. The field is posh, rich dark green and soft. The stands are half-packed during pre-game warm-ups, tension and the anticipation of War among Warriors was so thick it choked the air. Each team on their side of the field were professionally going their rituals and preparations, before all hell breaks out and the gloves are off at the start of kick-off. We were re-entering back into the locker room in order to get the rest of our comrades and line up for battle. My blood was percolating like some Folger’s instant coffee as both teams’ titans lumbered through the tunnel lining up for pre-game introduction of the starting line-ups. The 90,000 plus home fans of the Hoosier Dome was electrifying, thundering and loud to say the least, while playing our home Theme Song: “WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU,” by Queen.

As we stormed onto the field I felt at home and in my unfamiliar surroundings, not knowing what would be but expecting the best. It was truly time to Rock ‘n Roll, baby!!! Kick-off, and the game has commenced. It was a tight battle throughout the majority of the contest. However, early in the 4th quarter we were sporting a 7 to 8-point lead, with the game still tight. I finally got my big break! My first possession and control of the ship did not go well. I mean no disasters, thank God. On the first play I handed it off to Eric Dickerson (E.D.), he picked up five in two strives. However, the second play was a pass play. I made my fake to play action pass and their defensive linemen and linebackers were on me within a heart-beat. I got hit so hard it literally and figuratively knocked the “shit out of me”.

As Bob Collins, The Indianapolis Star sport columnist eloquently articulated (“sports over lightly”) said; “Turner got knocked, end over tea kettle”,which was a mild description…because shit – my helmet was twisted, contorted and dissipated on my skull. The third play we got stuffed. We had to punt the ball to them, but our defense stopped them as well. However, our next possession we got terrible field position. We got the ball back at our own 15, shit. Eighty-five yards to go in order to seal the deal here. Now, that second possession in control of the vessel was totally different. I tell you, man…I got hit so hard that first possession it brought tears to my eyes and shit from my ass. I knew now I was in the NFL. Kill or be killed. As a Quarterback however, you are more like a brain or open heart surgeon among animals and you have to intelligently dissect them into pieces and put them back into winning combinations.

And that is exactly what that fantastic offensive unit, team and organization went out and did. We drove 85 yards and scored securing the victory. I connected with my boy Pat Beach on a crucial 3rd down play for 29 yards and a first down. Just like old times, Turner to Beach through the air for a substantial gain (W.S.U Cougars days).

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