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Charger Mom Giving Back Through Education

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Video published December 17, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: You've probably heard the term soccer mom, but what about a professional football mom? Dwane Brown sat down with Susan English, mom of San Diego Charger outside linebacker Larry English. She's currently working with her son to develop an outreach program for high school students.

You've probably heard the term soccer mom, but what about a professional football mom? Susan English is the mother of San Diego Charger Larry English. She's currently working with her son to develop an outreach program for high school students. Its called LEAD or Leading Education to Athletes for their Dreams. Dwane Brown sat down with her for a chat.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

YOU PROBABLY HEARD THE TERM SOCCER MOM BUT WHAT ABOUT A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL MOM. SUSAN ENGLISH IS THE MOTHER OF SAN DIEGO CHARGER LARRY ENGLISH. SHE IS WORKING WITH HER SON TO DEVELOP AN OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS CALLED LEAD. LEAVING EDUCATION TO ATHLETES FOR THEIR DREAMS. DUANE BROWN SAT DOWN WITH HER FOR A CHAT.

YOUR SON LARRY ENGLISH WAS THE FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK OF THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS IN 2009. CAN YOU RECALL WHERE YOU WERE AND WHAT CAME TO MIND WHEN YOU HEARD THE NEWS?

WE WERE AT HOME IN ILLINOIS. I CAN REMEMBER I WAS STANDING AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. I HAD INSTRUCTIONS I WAS SUPPOSED TO KEEP CLOSE TABS WITH LARRY WHERE I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN RELATION TO HIM IN THE HOME. EVERYBODY WAS AROUND. I WAS STANDING AT HIS DOOR KNOCKING BECAUSE I DIDN'T SEE HIM DOWNSTAIRS. HE SAID YES MOM? I OPENED THE DOOR. AND HE IS SITTING THERE WITH MY MOM'S PICTURE AND HE HAS A PRAYER BOOK AT THE END OF HE IS BED. HE SAID TO ME, "MOM, JUST TAKE IT EASY. WHATEVER HAPPENS FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD IS WHERE GOD HAS MEANT FOR ME TO BE. "HE STANDS UP AND WALKS TOWARDS ME AND HUGS ME. HIS PHONE RANG. THERE WAS A VOICE ON THE OTHER END SAYING WHO THEY WERE. THEY WERE FROM THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS. FROM THAT POINT FORWARD YOU CAN JUST IMAGINE.

HE WAS DRAFTED MUCH HIGHIER THAN YOU GUYS EXPECTED, RIGHT?

MUCH HIGHER. WE THOUGHT POSSIBLY SECOND, MAYBE INTO THE THIRD. AS TIME PROGRESSED CLOSER HIS AGENT DEFINITELY WOULD NOT COMMENT. EVERYBODY GAVE US THEIR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS WHERE IT WOULD BE. WE NEVER DREAMED IN OUR WILDEST IMAGINATION THAT HE WOULD BE SELECTED. WE HAD JUST RETURNED HOME FROM HIS UNIVERSITY, NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, AND NEVER DREAMED THAT IT WOULD BE THE 16th PICK OVERALL.

HE PLAYS THE SAME POSITION SHARE MARRYMAN PLAYED. OUTSIDELINE BACKER FOR THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS. DID LARRY HAVE A DREAM OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE?

HIS WHOLE LIFE. HE ALWAYS SAID MOM, I'M GOING TO BE IN THE NFL. I'M GOING TO PLAY PROFOOTBALL. I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE. I HAVE A NUMBER OF FAMILY MEMBERS THAT ALWAYS PLAYED FOOTBALL. I HAVE A COUSIN THAT PLAYED IN THE NFL FOR YEARS. LARRY HAS GROWN UP IN THIS LIGHT OF ALWAYS WANTING TO BE IN THE NFL.

WHAT DID YOU TELL HIM ABOUT THE ODDS OF PLAYING PROFESSIONALLY?

I KNEW THAT IT WAS SUCH A CHALLENGE, IT WOULD BE SUCH A FEAT. IT IS LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF ALL DIVISION ONE ATHLETES HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE OUT THE THE PRORANKS. THOSE ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE TOP COLLEGES. I JUST WANTED HIM TO HAVE A PLAN B. THAT WAS HIS EDUCATION.

SO HE GRADUATED?

HE GRADUATED DECEMBER 14th. FROM ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY.

WHY IS THAT MESSAGE IMPORTANT BEYOND A STUDENT ATHLETE?

I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL STUDENTS TO HAVE AN EDUCATION. IF IT IS NOT AT COLLEGE, THEN POSSIBLY IT CAN BE IN WHATEVER PASSION OR DREAM THEY WISH. BUT THEY NEED TO BE, LIKE I SAID PASSIONATE AND FOCUSED ON SOMETHING TO HELP THEM HAVE A CAREER AND WANT TO DO SOMETHING WITH THEIR LIFE.

HAVE YOU EVER MISSED A FOOTBALL GAME LARRY PLAYED IN?

I HAVE. I HAVE MISSED ONE GAME IN HIS LIFE.

ENTIRE LIFE?

ENTIRE LIFE OF HIM, FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, TRACK, ALL OF IT. THAT WAS WHEN HE WAS IN COLLEGE. I STAYED HOME TO HELP MY DAUGHTER GET DRESSED FOR A DANCE THAT SHE WAS GOING TO. MY SISTER WENT AND SHE TOLD ME I NEVER WANT YOU TO MISS A GAME AGAIN. BECAUSE IT WAS MISERABLE. THE WHOLE GAME I WAS ON THE PHONE WITH HER JUST ASKING, DID HE GET OUT? IS HE OKAY? AS WE ALL KNOW IT CAN BE A DANGEROUS GAME AND CHALLENGING.

PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL MOM. WHAT'S THAT LIKE? WHAT'S THE BEST PART?

PROBABLY THE BEST PART OF ME BEING A PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL MOM IS NOT ONLY AM I HERE IN SAN DIEGO, MY DAUGHTER IS HERE WITH US. AND SHE'S IN COLLEGE AND DOING WELL. I THINK I WAS A SINGLE MOM, AND FOR US TO BE TOGETHER AND EVERYBODY, THE THREE OF US ARE WORKING HARD AND PASSIONATE AT SOMETHING WE LOVE, THAT'S PROBABLY THE BEST.

THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY.

THANK YOU.

SUSAN ENGLISH.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

A FOOT FRACTURE KEPT LARRY ON THE SIDELINE MUCH OF THE SEASON. HE IS BACK IN THE GAME NOW. CHARGERS HAD A BIG WIN AGAINST THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ers LAST NIGHT. WITH TWO GAMES LEFT IN THE REGULAR SEASON THEY ARE HOPING TO MAKE IT TO THE PLAYOFFS.

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