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Getting to know RB Curtis 'Boonah' Brinkley

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. robdog
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    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    By Curtis Egan
    <em>BoltTalk Staff Writer</em>

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://blog.syracuse.com/orangefootball/2008/11/FlyingBrinkley.jpg"><img title="Curtis Brinkley" src="http://blog.syracuse.com/orangefootball/2008/11/FlyingBrinkley.jpg" alt="Curtis Brinkley" width="278" height="210" /></a></div>

    Curtis ‘Boonah' Brinkley was a star running back all the way to his days at West Catholic and did not slow down once he got to Syracuse where he rushed for 7,429 yards and 85 touchdowns, breaking the Philadelphia prep school record previously held by NFL running back Kevin Jones.

    Curtis was invited to join the Chargers in camp to compete for a roster spot as an Undrafted Free Agent. With most teams this may be a nearly impossible task, that being making a professional team's roster as an undrafted free agent. But San Diego is a team that has players such as Antonio Gates and Kris Deilman are examples that undrafted free agents have the ability to not only make the team but to make an impact as well.

    His dream was put on hold however, when Curtis was shot while sitting inside his car at a suburban intersection in Cheltenham, Pa. on July 10, 2009. A gunman came up to Brinkley's car on foot and fired multiple times before running to a nearby car and fleeing the scene, police said.

    The shooting appears to be a case of mistaken identity. What ever the reasons that motivated the violent attack, the fact is that a good man, and a member of the Chargers was left with his dreams on hold, the future uncertain, and lucky to be alive.

    The thing that I find amazing is in the light of all of this, the young man remains positive, and every opportunity I have had to ask him how he is doing, he has been positive, and has stated that his dream of playing in the NFL has only been delayed, not denied.

    Curtis took the time to answer some questions for the Charger fans at <a href="http://www.bolttalk.com/" target="_blank">www.Bolttalk.com</a>, below is a transcript of the conversation which took place via e-mail.

    Curtis, first of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak with the fans of the San Diego Chargers at <a href="http://www.bolttalk.com/" target="_blank">www.bolttalk.com</a>. I will try and keep this to the point as I understand the rehabilitations you are going through can be mentally and physically taxing.

    <strong>Q: First of all, I have to ask this; where did the nickname Boonah come from, does it mean anything? </strong>
    <em>A: The nickname Boonah is special to me because my Grandmom gave me that name! </em>

    <strong>Q: Can you give us a brief description of who ‘Curtis ‘Boonah' Brinkley' is? The Charger fans have not had a lot of time to get to know you on the field. </strong>
    <em>A: Wow, I am so many things to some many people, but if i had to some it up I would say I'm a son, grandson, brother, nephew and uncle who loves his family and will put their needs before mine.
    But on the football field, I'm a man with a dream to accomplish. I've been playing football for most of my life. I used the sport as a means to beat the odds. Because of football I'm a college graduate now I'm looking to take it to the next level. Despite my unforeseen injury, I will play in the NFL cuz it's a dream deferred and not denied! </em>

    <strong>Q: Let's start off with discovering you were going to be a Charger. How did you find out the Chargers were interested in you? </strong>
    <em>A: They called me in the first round and told me they were interested. </em>

    <strong>Q: What were you feeling when you found out? </strong>
    <em>A: Excited because of the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the game. </em>

    <strong>Q: What was it like walking into the San Diego Charger facilities for the first time? </strong>
    <em>A: I felt normal until I started putting on the charger helmet then the kid game out of me and I became very excited. It felt like a dream came true already!!! </em>

    <strong>Q: What were your impressions of the first spring training sessions? </strong>
    <em>A: It was all I expected. The pace was fast. I didn't really get any snaps but it was what I expected because of the high intensity of practice. It was very different from college. </em>

    <strong>Q: How were you adapting the running scheme the Chargers employ? </strong>
    <em>A: I was adapting well because I ran a lot of the same plays in college. However, I had a harder time with the protection because I had to learn new schemes. </em>

    <strong>Q: What was your biggest challenge in the spring workouts?</strong>
    <em>A: I came physically and mentally ready so I didn't have any real challenges. </em>

    <strong>Q: Did you have much interaction with the Chargers fans? </strong>
    <em>A: I communicated with them during the events and have some chargers fans followers on Facebook and twitter. </em>

    <strong>Q: During the spring training did you get to interact with LaDainian Tomlinson and Daren Sproles at all? If so did anything they did impact you or your work ethic (which by all accounts was very good). </strong>
    <em>A: Yes, they gave me a lot of advice and I really appreciated it. They both enhanced the meaning of work ethnic. I never saw LT drop a pass- and during special team I caught him getting his abdominal work out in. Daren Sproles goes 190 miles from the start of practice to the end. He goes fast the entire time from warm up to the end of practice. I was also impressed by the way he caught the ball. </em>

    <strong>Q: What did you think of the speed of things in comparison with College? </strong>
    <em>A: The speed is completely different in the NFL. The speed is much faster. </em>

    <strong>Q: What was the coaching feedback like? </strong>
    <em>A: Before I left in June, I talked to the running back coach and his advice was to become more comfortable with the plays. </em>

    <strong>Q: What type of runner would you say you are? </strong>
    <em>A: I am a speedster and slasher. </em>

    I know you have had to deal with people who have expressed a morbid curiosity about the tragedy that you have suffered; I would like to ask some questions around that, but feel free not to answer. It is not so much about the accident but the thoughts you had.

    <strong>Q: You had worked so hard through high school and College, made it to a professional football camp. Then you were robbed of your ability to participate. I can only imagine the frustration you felt. Can you put to words what you were thinking as it happened? </strong>
    <em>A: Truthfully, all I could think about was getting out of there. My life was in jeopardy and I had too much to live for it to end at that time. Now, I'm just grateful to be alive and focused on my rehabilitation. </em>

    <strong>Q: Is it true that you have had to fight through two knee surgeries and a broken right fibula during your college career? </strong>
    <em>A: I've overcome many obstacles during my college career including the loss of my father, but I've always bounced back and I'm looking forward to a full recovery. </em>

    <strong>Q: What did you have to do to fight back from those and still be the 4th ranked Big East runner your senior year? </strong>
    <em>A: I always had to focus on the end result-not the current circumstances. I work hard and train hard so that I'm in the best physical condition possible, which is half the battle. </em>

    <strong>Q: Based on the messages you send out on Twitter, you seem very positive (Something I applaud you for). How are you able to remain positive in the light of what you have had to suffer? </strong>
    <em>A: I'm grateful to be alive so when i think about what could have been it's enough to keep me positive. Plus I have the support of my Grandmom, my uncle, my mom and all other family and friends. Then there's the fan support that keeps me going and motivates me to fight. I have something worth fighting for and I can only when the battle with a positive mind and I promise you my dream is deferred and not denied! </em>

    <strong>Q: Is there an anticipated time table before you can return to perusing your dream of playing in the NFL? </strong>
    <em>A: The doctors give me about 3-5 months from July. </em>

    <strong>Q: Have the Chargers stated what their commitment to you is? </strong>
    <em>A: You probably would have to ask the Chargers about their commitment, but the last words I received were that I was on physically unable to perform list/non-football injury. </em>

    <strong>Q: Is there anything you would like to say to the fans? </strong>
    <em>A: Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. It really means a lot and motivates me to fight. </em>

    <strong>Q: Is there anything the fans of the Chargers can do for you? </strong>
    <em>A: Don't count me out because I have so much more to give! I'm excited about the opportunity to earn a spot on the Chargers Roster. Also, keep following me on the social media sites (facebook and twitter) and watch my video diaries on you tube as I document my road to recovery.</em>

    <em>Finally, thank you for your continued interest in me and my recovery. I appreciate the support you and Chargers fans so continue to follow me on twitter/boonah920, you tube and facebook/boonah920. The encouragement keeps me motivated to fight to ensure that my dream to play in the NFL is deferred and not denied! </em>

    The Chargers have place Curtis Brinkley on the Physically Unable to Perform / Non-Football Injury list. They have stated that they will ensure that Boonah has another chance to make the roster and realize his dream of playing in the NFL. I can't count this young man out, even though he faces steep odds. His positivity, and desire to prove himself are inspirational. I know next summer come training camp I am going to be looking for this young man, to shake his hand and wish him the best.

    If you would like to pass along your well wishes, check out his Facebook account boonah920, and/or his Twitter account boonah920. Let him know you are pulling for him.

    Thank you Curtis for taking the time to speak to the fans, God bless, and grant you a full recovery as well as your dream of playing in the NFL. Stay positive!

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