“Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed early Monday when his white stretch Hummer was sprayed by bullets after a nightclub dispute following a New Year's Eve party.”
Shot and killed! Darrent Williams?
I always felt a special liking for Darrent Williams, the man who wore number twenty-seven, perhaps because he was a young, talented player with an infectious smile and a knack for interceptions and kickoff returns. Perhaps it was also because people thought that he was too short, and that he played with a chip on his shoulder because of that.
Now he was dead? When my brain finally processed what had happened, I let out a gurgled sob.
Mom shouted worriedly, “What’s wrong?” I stared numbly at the screen while my parents ran up the stairs. As they neared the computer, I stood up and looked away. The tears formed in my eyes.
I pointed to the computer, and my mom read the headline. “Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed … his white stretch Hummer was sprayed by bullets. …”
“I’m sorry, son,” dad said. I nodded and wiped my tears as I got up from my chair. “Yep,” I managed.
What could I say? I walked over to my bathroom and closed the door. The tears flowed unhindered down my face.
I thought of last night. The Broncos had lost their game, and their season was over because of that. But the Broncos had next season, and Darrent Williams didn’t have a next season.
I couldn’t help but wonder if things might have been different had the Broncos won. Perhaps everything might have been different. But it didn’t happen that way. He was dead and my mind swam in tears. A painful wall of grief stood in front of my eyes, blocking my view wherever I looked.
If you’re a Broncos fan or player, you have a special bond with your team. You bleed orange and blue. Ever since 1960, Broncos fans have been among the most loyal and devoted fans in professional sports. We love our team. We stand a Mile High in support of our team. There’s something special about being a Broncos fan. This death, this murder, was personal. This was a death in the family.
Later in the day, I sent a message to Williams’ family through the Denver Broncos’ website. Then I read that Darrent Williams was from Fort Worth. Fort Worth—I live in Fort Worth!