Oreos and Stuff About Scott Shanle
I just finished watching the NFL Films' show on Superbowl XLIV. My favorite part is when Scott Fujita brags to Payton Manning late in the game "Hey Payton, I can eat those Oreos faster than you!" He then walks to Scott Shanle and tells him that he just told Payton his Oreos joke but he didn't think Payton liked it.
I feel a special connection to Scott Shanle because of proximity. Scott was born in Genoa Nebraska, and went to high school nearby in St. Edward, a small town in Boone County. When I say small, I mean there are about 700 people there. It's 10 miles from Cedar Rapids, where my father grew up, and where today I own part of a farm. Both Scott and my father excelled at 8 man football in high school. Scott then walked on to the Nebraska college team. Nebraska has a long and proud tradition of walk ons. Scott red shirted his first season, but went on to have a very good college career as a linebacker. He was drafted very late by the Rams, then he played for the Cowboys, but in 2006 he was traded to the Saints. That year the Saints played in the NFC championship. I wrote to Scott Shanle shortly after the finish to the amazing 2006 season. I told him that I very much appreciated his hard work with the Saints, and his earlier work with the Huskers. I told him about my father who recently passed away, and that we in New Orleans found that football season to be a much needed distraction. I was living in a FEMA trailer at the time. I never heard back from Scott but that's OK. Now that the Saints won the Superbowl though, people in Boone County are nuts about Scott Shanle. They talk about the contrast of him playing at Beaver Stadium in St Edward and then playing in a football game that set the record for television audience. People in Nebraska are also very proud that Scott has had to work very hard for everything in his football career. He wasn't recruited by Nebraska in high school. He walked on and fought for a starting position. He wasn't drafted high in the NFL, he had to fight to make the team. So thank you and congratulations Scott Shanle. You make me very proud of my Nebraska heritage, and I hope you can fathom some day just how special this season was to people who have worked so hard to rebuild the New Orleans and Gulf South area after the flood.