It was about this time last year when the city of Houston and many around the country fell in love with Charles James II. The Jacksonville, Florida native's happy socks and infectious attitude had the nation captivated each and every Tuesday night during HBO's season of Hard Knocks.
Everyone has a story but often times, the story known by the masses tells so little of the odyssey that a player goes through to get to that current spot in life. Many noticed James for the first time because of the Hard Knocks' mics and camera lenses. Unfortunately, that's sort of like going to see a theater performance after intermission. Those people only see part of the story.
James told his full story to the Players' Tribune, Derek Jeter's site with a mantra of The Voice of the Game, if you will. My daily to-do list includes a Players' Tribune visit and I follow it on Twitter. So, when I was going through my Twitter timeline, I saw James' picture, but thought that was something he tweeted because I follow him too. Then, I recognized the Players' Tribune logo and couldn't get to the story fast enough.
Good writers or storytellers have to grab you right away. James did.
"Plenty of people have lost a job before. I just happen to be one of the few who lost his on national TV."
From there it's James' story in his words from his days as a walk-on at Charleston Southern...his cafeteria proclamation that he was going to be a record-setting cornerback at CSU as a walk-on freshman...his first game against Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators...being an FCS All-American...getting passed over in the draft, especially one team in particular (that the Texans face in game one this year)...his time with the Giants and the respect Giants players had for him...what happened in Baltimore after Hard Knocks... "coming home" to Houston.
But, there's so much more to the story and I even hesitate to say story because that seems to convey that something is made up. Not true at all. James goes further into detail on each and every step along the way and you can't help but cheer for him at the end, whether you're a Texans fan or not.
I tweeted that whenever his career is over, I want him to be my own personal hype man because no one can make me feel like I can do anything like Charles James.
It's an outstanding read to bookmark for this weekend, if nothing else. Click here to check it out.
CB Charles James' career as a Texan, Giant and collegian at Charleston Southern is profiled here in photos.