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Giving Thanks for My Best Friend


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Thanksgiving again! I love the holiday season. This year I have so much to be thankful for, but I will say first and foremost that I am most thankful for my wife. Over the years we have grown. And more importantly we have grown up.

It’s Sunday night and I’m sitting around. There’s folded laundry on a chair, blankets tossed on the sofa, and a pair of muddy shoes by the door. I said to my wife “which one of your friends could come in this house right now, plop down, grab a blanket and be comfortable.

She paused for a second and said, “Well you’re my best friend… now get under this blanket.” Alright, alright. She didn’t say the get under the blanket part, but she did say I was her best friend. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. However, I did pause and reflect. I must admit my wife is my best friend.

It doesn’t mean I completely enjoy her all the time, but she does represent love and a comfortableness that is important for living a high-quality life. One can’t be on and entertaining all the time. At some point in the day there should be time to be ourselves. She is my safe zone. She is incredibly smart. Yet, she makes me laugh when she’s explaining football; telling a great lie about how much she knows.

Seriously, what have I done to deserve this great honor of best friend. It kind of seems greater than the honor of being a husband. I’m not perfect but I’m better for her today than I was for her in the past. That is the growth. This is Andre 2.0.

I try hard to make things easy for her. I want to clean the kitchen and have solutions to our problems. I want her to trust me.  And my preferred destination is always home.

I do things she likes to do. I try new restaurants for her. Act like I’m amazed by Dr. Oz for her. And completely overdose on reality TV for her. I can’t always think about myself. A best friend can’t sit on the sofa all day Saturday and have a guy’s night out every weekend and expect to wear the king’s crown.

What can you do in your relationship to earn best friend status with your significant other or spouse. Healthy relationships are critical to your overall health. Here are some professional tips. I will also slip in a few of my own. Let’s see if you can tell which ones are mine. First person that replies to andre.collins@nflpa.com with the correct three tips that are ‘Andre Collins tips’ will receive a $150 gift card that might help in earning you best friend status.

  • Don’t win every argument
  • Listen with your ears and eyes, look at your partner when you’re listening
  • Eat fancy cheese on potato chips together
  • Take responsibility for your faults and try to improve
  • Do things together that your partner likes
  • Overdose on Reality TV
  • Don’t let your past ruin the present

Action Creates an Opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Happy Thanksgiving!

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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