|Prison was Not an Option For 2013 Superbowl NFL Champion Chris Johnson|
|By Dalonika McDonald, Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Parole Division|
Everyone knows our Texas cornerback #39 Chris Johnson as one of the Super Bowl winners from Sunday, February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. This game will forever be tattooed in the minds of millions as a power-outage caused a delay of 35 minutes in the middle of the game. But that didn’t stop Chris’s team, the Baltimore Ravens, from defeating the San Francisco 49ers with a final score of 34-31. This moment was monumental but for Chris- it almost did not come.
Two years earlier we all grieved alongside Chris as shocking and devastating news broke from Fort Worth, Texas of a shooting which involved his mother and sister. Chris’s sister Jennifer and his mother were both shot by the father of Jennifer's youngest daughter, Eugene Esters, on Dec. 5, 2011. Chris’s mother miraculously survived, although his sister Jennifer did not. This was a difficult time for Chris and his family, one that no one will forget. This devastation almost caused Chris, who at the time was with the Oakland Raiders, to walk away from his professional football career forever.
Has it always been this hard for our Texas Champion?
There were other moments of tragedy, costly mistakes and flat-out difficult occasions in this Champion’s life. Chris has never tried to hide behind the mountains which stood in his way, instead you will find him standing on top, victorious. When you hear Chris giving a presentation, he openly speaks about his experience growing up in Texas with humble beginnings. Recently Chris spoke to a room full of ex-offenders concerning his leadership role in selling drugs in high school and doing jail time for forgery. He also spoke about what life would have been like for him if his first child Krissy, who is now 14, would not have been born during his Senior year of college. His diverse life experiences has caused Chris to be requested all around the country to tell his remarkable and unbelievable story.
We were privileged to hear one of his many speeches in December of 2013 at the Women R Worth It and Progressive Males graduation. This is a program started by former Regional Director of the parole division, Vickie Hallman, to assist ex-offenders through a 12-week program. It provides a variety of services for offenders seeking to acclimatize to life outside of the penal system. To begin the show the song Testimony, by gospel recording artist Marvin Sapp, was played, causing tears to begin to fall as ex-offenders all over the room identified with the powerful message in the song. This was all before Chris even grabbed the microphone to speak. After the song ceased, Chris went on to explain he didn't have that Hollywood story of being the one guy on the field which all the scouts came to see. It was actually the exact opposite. His name wasn't even on the list. We all watched and listened as the Champion told his astounding story about his fight to rise to the top. As he spoke of pain, sacrifice, let downs, success and sheer determination his speech was so moving you could literally see feelings stirred up in the room with his powerful message.
With so many fans that adore and follow Chris Johnson, but never get to see the true persona of this amazing man, we would like to share with you some insights about our Texas Champion that you didn't know. Meet the Chris Johnson behind the winning ring.
15 Things You Didn't Know:
Five AMAZING Facts about Chris
Chris’s Five GREATEST Accomplishments
Chris has been blessed with great memories of Jennifer, and this was an ideal way to honor her. "My memories with my sister are always cherished. Even though Jennifer has passed away at an early age, we were able to experience a lot together. My relationship with my sister was good. It was good to hear my wife state that my sister was proud of me and the all-around man I have become.”
Chris Five Rules to Success:
Chris has many new endeavors for 2014!
Keep your eyes open for Chris and his wife Moishi as they continue on their global vision.
We celebrate Chris, Our Texas Champion!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT