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Turning Inward: Get Back in Your Car

Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

This morning on my way to work, I blew my horn at a guy driving ahead of me. I was perfectly within my rights as a driver. He was blocking an intersection while there was clearly room to move up, get out of the way and not block traffic. I’m sure you get the picture.

What happened next startled me. And it happened fast. The guy got out of his car and moved toward my wife and me. For a moment I felt defenseless. What if he tried to damage my car or punched me through my open window? The only thing I could think to protect myself was to also get out of the car. So I did and I looked at him with my craziest eyes; trust me I wouldn’t have wanted to mess with me. Then I said to him GET BACK IN YOUR CAR! I said it a few times. I think a little foam came out of my mouth too! He thought better of tangling with the younger version of myself that appeared for a split second. He shouted a few curse words and flashed a few hand gestures and quickly got back in his car.

What started out as an innocent drive with my wife, laughing to Steve Harvey on the Radio, took a sudden turn and got real serious for moment. I’m wound tight anyway, but at no point should I ever cross the line and think I can physically impose my will or physically engage another man whether or not he is right or wrong. Even just getting out was a risk. What did I have to prove?

We should always think about retreating inward to ourselves and leaving these types of curiosities alone. Pull yourself away from these sorts of senseless confrontations. Turn into yourself and keep guard. 

In our heads, there is an instinctive desire to participate in such activities, but in our hearts, we know otherwise. It seems right at the time but most certainly will bring remorse, guilt and shame in the end. Sometimes we must act, but let’s think before we act.  Weigh the real consequences of the prideful desire to be right. What if I had never blown my horn? Humble yourself when faced with the intense pride to fight back. Temper your desire in the moment; let that pause grace you with unmatched wisdom. The ruckus and commotion outside of your inner self serves little-to-no purpose when you retreat into yourself and leave senseless matters alone. Minding everyone’s business doesn’t help in the pursuit of a better version of you.

Peace be with you this holiday season.

Andre Collins


Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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