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Thread: 7 Years Difference: Ryan Spadola

  1. #1

    7 Years Difference: Ryan Spadola

    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201...their_nfl.html

    Pam Spadola’s phone rang Friday evening. Her son Ryan was on the other end, catching up with her as prepared to leave the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, following their final practice before the holiday weekend. Ryan spoke casually.

    “Oh, hey, mom,” he said. “I wanted to give you a quick call and tell you I made the team.”

    This was a moment Ryan and his father, Donald, always dreamed about – Ryan as an NFL player. And he made the Jets, whose games Donald and Ryan attended together, driving 50 miles north from their home in Howell.

    Donald was there when the dream began, standing behind Ryan before his first Pop Warner game. Donald smiled for a photo, his left arm resting on Ryan’s shoulder pads, his right around Ryan’s younger brother, Randy. Ryan looked into the camera, eye black streaked across his fair cheeks, with a focused, serious expression on his face.

    Donald nurtured the dream. He coached Ryan’s teams. He told Ryan stories about his own high achievements, as a Secret Service agent assigned to protect retired presidents.


    Then Donald left the dream behind. He committed suicide on Nov. 29, 2006, during Ryan’s sophomore year at Freehold Township High School. The family never saw it coming, Pam said. It remains inexplicable for Ryan.

    Over the next seven years, Ryan poured himself into football. His mom took out student loans so he could attend Lehigh, where he shined as a wide receiver. The Jets signed him as an undrafted free agent who had to play special teams and fight for spot this preseason on the 53-man roster, which will be released Saturday night.


    And finally, Friday night, there were Ryan’s words, long awaited, hitting his mom’s ear: “I made the team.”


    She wept.

    -------------------

    Wow. Dude's had it rough.

  2. #2
    Ugh.

    Father suicide stories, ugh ugh.

    Too close for me. Good for Spadola to succeed through it. Not everybody can ( I didn't).

  3. #3
    He really is the kind of guy you just wanna root for. Forget all the Tebow nice guy stuff.

  4. #4
    Wow. That's something you never get over. Glad he made the team.

  5. #5
    Good for him!

    I hope he's around for a while! Really awesome he gets to play for his favorite team, too! That must be really cool.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Ugh.

    Father suicide stories, ugh ugh.

    Too close for me. Good for Spadola to succeed through it. Not everybody can ( I didn't).
    Church, I'm sorry to hear that man. As much as a lot of us are just strangers posting on an Internet board, we are all still human & I hate to see people hurt & struggling.
    Believe me, I have my own demons with an alcoholic mom that died of cancer at a young age.
    People are more important than football.
    We are all rocks.

  7. #7
    This kid is exactly the type of kid you root for. Hopefully he can develop and then we could have a decent young set of WR's with Kerley, Hill and Spadola with a young QB like Geno!!

  8. #8
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    It is scary to think you can live with someone every day and not know that they are feeling like that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Ugh.

    Father suicide stories, ugh ugh.

    Too close for me. Good for Spadola to succeed through it. Not everybody can ( I didn't).
    Sorry to hear.

  10. #10
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    I went to Freehold Boro, the archrival school of Freehold Township so I wasn't exactly pulling for him but I sure as hell am now.

  11. #11
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    Glad he made the team. He earned it.

  12. #12
    That's an inspiring story and great to hear that he was able to overcome his situation.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Ugh.

    Father suicide stories, ugh ugh.

    Too close for me. Good for Spadola to succeed through it. Not everybody can ( I didn't).
    wait! lemme get it right, so you're a dead person writing from the crypt/grave? Ghost! weird!

  14. #14
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    It's a nice story, but Spadola has to show he belongs when the real games start now. I remember the first time Chrebet started week one at Miami back in 95, and I was kinda skeptical about this new young kid everyone was talking about, but boy did he step up in a big way. Boomer was throwing these deep seem passes to Chrebet, and he was making one catch after another. I knew right there he belonged as our starting WR. After hearing all of the media during that 95 TC knocking the Jets for starting this unkown rookie kid from Hofstra of all places. If Holmes doesn't come back, this kid is going to have to step up big, because I'm still not sold on Hill and Gates. Good luck to the Dolaman! I'm hoping the Jets bring back Braylon after week one If his knee has healed, because 4 WR's are not going to do it in the MM offense.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by McGinley View Post
    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/201...their_nfl.html

    Pam Spadola’s phone rang Friday evening. Her son Ryan was on the other end, catching up with her as prepared to leave the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, following their final practice before the holiday weekend. Ryan spoke casually.

    “Oh, hey, mom,” he said. “I wanted to give you a quick call and tell you I made the team.”

    This was a moment Ryan and his father, Donald, always dreamed about – Ryan as an NFL player. And he made the Jets, whose games Donald and Ryan attended together, driving 50 miles north from their home in Howell.

    Donald was there when the dream began, standing behind Ryan before his first Pop Warner game. Donald smiled for a photo, his left arm resting on Ryan’s shoulder pads, his right around Ryan’s younger brother, Randy. Ryan looked into the camera, eye black streaked across his fair cheeks, with a focused, serious expression on his face.

    Donald nurtured the dream. He coached Ryan’s teams. He told Ryan stories about his own high achievements, as a Secret Service agent assigned to protect retired presidents.


    Then Donald left the dream behind. He committed suicide on Nov. 29, 2006, during Ryan’s sophomore year at Freehold Township High School. The family never saw it coming, Pam said. It remains inexplicable for Ryan.

    Over the next seven years, Ryan poured himself into football. His mom took out student loans so he could attend Lehigh, where he shined as a wide receiver. The Jets signed him as an undrafted free agent who had to play special teams and fight for spot this preseason on the 53-man roster, which will be released Saturday night.


    And finally, Friday night, there were Ryan’s words, long awaited, hitting his mom’s ear: “I made the team.”


    She wept.

    -------------------

    Wow. Dude's had it rough.
    Damn, lost my mom to it. Even though we were estranged it was pretty brutal. Will root for him even more now.

  16. #16
    Rooting for Spadola more than ever

  17. #17
    Really hope this guy makes it big for the Jets!! Church and Jetster I'm very sorry to hear about your tribulations, but you guys are real men to be able to share it like that. God Bless you both.

  18. #18
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    difference is that spadola will actually help the team.



    Quote Originally Posted by McGinley View Post
    He really is the kind of guy you just wanna root for. Forget all the Tebow nice guy stuff.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsfreak View Post
    difference is that spadola will actually help the team.
    Unlike Tebow who had to benched when he flunked Punt Protector 101, Spadola is a football player

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sg3 View Post
    Unlike Tebow who had to benched when he flunked Punt Protector 101, Spadola is a football player
    Wasn't really my point, but I agree.

    My point was that people harp on about Tebow being so easy to root for because he smiles a lot and is a nice guy. That's all well and good, but knowing how difficult it's been for Spads and for him to make it all the way to the NFL makes me wanna root for him way more than a guy being nice.

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