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Thread: Great NYTs Article on Bart Scott

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    Great NYTs Article on Bart Scott

    September 9, 2010
    Scott, Star in New York With Jets, Can’t Put Ties to Baltimore AsideBy GREG BISHOP
    Jets linebacker Bart Scott will never forget the seven seasons he spent in Baltimore. The Ravens were the first team that believed in him, the only team that offered him a chance at a workout.

    In Baltimore, Scott went from anonymous undrafted free agent to special-teams standout to starting inside linebacker. He played alongside All-Pros like linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed, so many stars that Scott said he often felt like the youngest member of the Jackson Five.

    Over lunch Wednesday in Manhattan’s West Village, Scott kept coming back to Baltimore, to the city that embraced him, to the fans who identified with him, to the organization that developed him — and will face him Monday night in the Jets’ season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium.

    “There’s nothing like your first best friend, your first puppy love, the first time you bought all in,” Scott said. “You’ll never have that same dynamic. You only have one first.”

    The game will provide relief for Scott, who is still grappling with a family tragedy that occurred in June. On Father’s Day, as Scott was flying back to New Jersey from Detroit, his hometown, the fiancé of his oldest sister, Cutrice, was murdered there.

    Cutrice Scott and Phillip Wade planned to marry. She had found a dress. That day, according to Scott, Wade returned home and found burglars inside. One stabbed him in the neck, and he bled to death in the arms of his 12-year-old son. When his sister reached Scott by cellphone, she could not speak.

    Scott knows all about the dangers in Detroit. He once arrived at football practice at Southeastern High School to find a burned-out car in the middle of the field. His cousin was paralyzed in a random shooting at a bar.

    “Cutrice is my biggest fan,” Scott said. “This crushed her. I wanted to protect her. I wanted her to have happiness, too. It’s just tough, man. Detroit’s a rough place.”

    Scott has since assumed the role in which he feels most comfortable: as his family’s source of strength. When his sister lost her job recently, he paid for her to go back to school to study interior design.

    That mentality, Scott said, came from his upbringing and his family, and from the Baltimore Ravens. As Scott prepared to face his former team, he dealt with his sadness using the lessons he learned in Baltimore.

    When Scott signed with the Ravens in 2002, he received a $500 signing bonus. That covered his phone bill and little else, but it allowed him entry into what Scott described as the N.F.L.’s version of Stanford for defensive players.

    The City of Baltimore, he said, appreciated his story, his path from Southern Illinois to Lewis’s side on the league’s most intimidating defense. His mother, Dorita Adams, remembered the first time Scott ran out of the tunnel as a Ravens starter, how it was so loud that she could not hear his name. Scott blew her a kiss and mouthed, “We did it.” Tears rolled down her cheeks.

    On a conference call Thursday, Baltimore Coach John Harbaugh said nobody threw his body into traffic quite the way Scott did.

    Scott remains close with several Ravens players, including Edgar Jones, Le’Ron McClain and Terrell Suggs. Scott said he mostly identified with players who are like him: non-Hollywood, unglamorous guys “who got their work done and got rewarded.”

    Scott formed organizationwide relationships that endure for all weeks except this one. He befriended Ed Carroll, the Ravens’ longtime equipment manager, who declined an interview request but helped Scott donate weight-lifting equipment to his high school.

    Scott also found kinship with O. J. Brigance, a former N.F.L. linebacker who works in player development for the Ravens despite having amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The men played the same position and wore the same number (57). It was Brigance who helped persuade Scott to return to college, where he earned a degree in economics a few years back.

    Scott followed Coach Rex Ryan to the Jets before last season. He remains surprised that the Ravens passed over Ryan to hire Harbaugh, but Scott knew instantly that he would follow Ryan anywhere. He wanted their careers connected.

    “I’ll ride with Rex, no matter what,” Scott said. “Tell me, who were the Jets before he got here? They were missing an identity. They were middle of the road. He turned this team into the most talked-about team in the N.F.L. All we have to do is back up his statements and, bam, instant success.”

    Even after Scott left Baltimore, he remained involved with the city. With the help of Valarie Wideman, a receptionist for the Ravens, Scott continued to feed 400 homeless people on Thanksgiving and hand out Christmas toys and throw parties for children at local roller rinks. He continued to adopt a local elementary school.

    Jones took over one of Scott’s events. Running back Ray Rice took over another.

    “I miss him so much,” Wideman said of Scott. “Everybody does. You still see people wearing his jersey in the street.”

    That works both ways.

    “Part of Bart’s heart will always be in Baltimore,” said Adams, his mother.

    Part of Scott wanted to stay there, too, and the Ravens offered a comparable financial package. But Lewis was already the cornerstone at linebacker, and Ryan made it clear to Scott that he, not Lewis, was his first choice. “I was always Plan A,” Scott said. “That was the first time in my life I was Plan A.”

    Immediately after arriving in New York, Ryan and Scott set about imparting the Ravens’ culture on the Jets.

    Now, Scott said, when the teams meet Monday, “they won’t admit it, but I’m sure they miss Rex’s genius on defense.”

    “He ran so much of that team,” Scott said. “That defense is still good, but it’s not the same as when Rex was there.”

    As much as Scott credits the Ravens, he said he planned to go after them Monday night. The first time he played against Chester Taylor, a former Baltimore teammate, Scott lifted him and slammed him on his neck.

    “They know me,” Scott said. “They know the storm is coming.”

    __________________________________________________________

  2. #2
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    nice. scott seems to be one of those guys like bryan cox. not super talented but always playing hard. you get 11 of those guys on defense and you can be pretty special.

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    I hope Scott brings the wood monday night. I think he will. He is going to be special this year, i can sense it

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    [IMG]http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o99/wco33/riders-on-the-storm.jpg[/IMG]

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