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mesaSteeler
03-27-2009, 10:20 PM
Tim's Take: Nick Eason acting the way pro athletes should
Posted: Mar 26, 2009 11:39 AM Updated: Mar 26, 2009 12:14 PM
http://www.wtoctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10077135

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Super Bowl heroes are not always defined by statistics.

Nick Eason didn't score any touchdowns in the Steelers' championship victory last month. He didn't have any sacks or even tackles either.

But he's had a star's reception since returning to his home in Lyons, Georgia, where he's always been as big as the ring he'll soon receive.

"The big city of Lyons has been very proud,'' said Eason. "I've been getting much thank you's and I'm proud of you's.''

And Eason has continued to do his hometown proud since walking off the field in Tampa, with down to earth behavior that has matched his soaring achievement. And by not acting the star he is to people in and around Lyons.

He has signed every autograph, posed for every photo and helped in any way he's been asked. And sometimes even when he wasn't asked, like when he came to Savannah this week to judge the Super Bowl Showcase talent show.

"This is almost like Christmas in march for me,'' said Lester White, whose My Dreams Productions put on the event. "When this gentleman called me, we're talking about a super bowl star, and he calls me and says I want to help you and your organization do something for the community. It was just great.''

It was something a player coming off his professional high didn't have to do. Unless he had Eason's sense of responsibility.

"You never forget where you come from at this level,'' said Eason. "You've always got to keep yourself very humble and very grounded and all because football can end for you in a matter of seconds. It's all about character when it's said and done.''

And it's guys like Eason who remind us that some still exists in professional sports, that big-time athletes can do more than get in trouble when the games end.

And that, sometimes, their work off the field is as important and impressive as what they do on it.

2009 WTOC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Super Bowl champ Eason helps Savannah youths
By Noell Barnidge
Created 2009-03-25 23:30

Being a defensive end for the Super Bowl XLIII champion Pittsburgh Steelers is opening a lot of doors for Nick Eason.

Wednesday, one of those doors was to Savannah's Black Box S.P.A.C.E. Cultural Art Theatre at 9 West Henry Street, where the former Toombs County High School standout used his celebrity to bring attention to a youth talent show.

At the request of his cousin, Marcel McManus, Eason helped to judge auditions of singers, rappers and dancers. He also encouraged the crowd of about 30 people to spread the word about the upcoming Mr. Black Teen of Savannah Scholarship Competition.

"God has really opened a lot of doors for me to go around and speak to a numerous amount of churches (and other events)," said Eason, who will report to the Steelers' mini-camp in late April.

"Bad news is published about a lot of NFL players, but there are a lot of good guys out there that you see less good news of being published. But I'm not the only guy who's out here doing good work and trying to give back to the community."

Eason, 28, graduated from Clemson in 2001 with a degree in sociology. He was Clemson's first athlete to graduate in three years and have two years of eligibility remaining. He continues to work toward a master's degree in human resource development.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Eason was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round (114th pick overall) of the 2003 NFL draft. His rookie season ended in training camp because of an Achilles injury.

In 2004, the former All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection began the season with Denver before being allocated to the Scottish Claymores of the now-defunct NFL Europe. He was waived by Denver and signed with the Cleveland Browns, where he played for three seasons.

In 2007, Eason signed with Pittsburgh as an unrestricted free agent. He played in all 16 games and made one start against Cincinnati. He played in the AFC Wild Card game, but Jacksonville won, 31-29.

Last season, Eason made 10 tackles. His salary was $662,500 and he played in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

"It was a magical moment for me once we knew that we had the game won," he said.

Pittsburgh took a 17-7 lead at halftime when linebacker James Harrison intercepted Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and returned the ball for a 100-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history. Eason wasn't on the field during the play.

"And thank God I wasn't," he said, laughing. "I would not have made it 100 yards. If you go back and look at the highlight, on the replay of that play, there were nothing but defensive backs and linebackers running 100 yards. The linemen were out of the frame, trying to get to the sidelines and rest up. It was a great play and I think it changed the momentum of the game and kept us alive. It was big."

With 35 seconds to play, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected with wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who made a spectacular 6-yard touchdown catch to give the Steelers the victory.

Eason said watching the game-winning drive from the sideline was intense.

"Do you as a player want to be in close games like that? Never," he said. "If we can win it easy, we would love to do so. A lot of people took the Arizona Cardinals for granted. We didn't."
Source URL:
http://savannahnow.com//node/695827

7willBheaven
03-28-2009, 10:24 PM
I remember back when he was first signed by the Steelers....people thought he was no good...and had issues/etc. And now look at him...hes become a better player than most expected...and hes a class act also. And isnt he our current youngest DL???

Steely McSmash
03-28-2009, 10:47 PM
And isnt he our current youngest DL???

Youngest to make the 53 man roster last year. Seems like a nice guy. Probably pretty bright to graduate in 3 years while playing football as well. He definitely improved this year from last.

devilsdancefloor
03-28-2009, 11:23 PM
Wow great story thanks for posting! It is a breath of fresh air when you read or see stories like this one. We hear way tomuch about the pacman jones , TO, michael vick stories. Sounds like he is a steeler thru and thru! Great character & a champion!:tt03::tt03::tt03::tt03:

Vincent
03-29-2009, 05:31 AM
Sounds like he is a steeler thru and thru! Great character & a champion!:tt03::tt03::tt03::tt03:

They all seem that way. What a great bunch of young men!!!

SteelersMongol
03-29-2009, 06:05 AM
..."You never forget where you come from at this level,'' said Eason. "You've always got to keep yourself very humble and very grounded and all because football can end for you in a matter of seconds. It's all about character when it's said and done''...

:thumbsup: That's the way all men should B like. This is my personal favorite quote. I love this guy already.

...Pittsburgh took a 17-7 lead at halftime when linebacker James Harrison intercepted Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and returned the ball for a 100-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history. Eason wasn't on the field during the play.

"And thank God I wasn't," he said, laughing. "I would not have made it 100 yards. If you go back and look at the highlight, on the replay of that play, there were nothing but defensive backs and linebackers running 100 yards. The linemen were out of the frame, trying to get to the sidelines and rest up. It was a great play and I think it changed the momentum of the game and kept us alive. It was big."...

Greatest moment from that game. :tt02:

CanadianSteel
03-30-2009, 10:16 AM
From his draft year NFL films followed Eason during the draft at home and the agony of having to wait until the 4th to get picked. He seemed like a guy who was well liked by everyone. They did follow up on his trainign camp with Denver also.
They had a replay of this on last year and was kind of neat knowing how things turned out with him coming to the Steelers.

iceman000123
03-30-2009, 10:25 AM
Now thats great sportsmanship. T.O. and Pacman should take lessons from this guy. So his name might not be as big as theirs. but their names are big in the wrong way in the first place. With Nick's character I'd take him over Pacman anyday

Edman
03-31-2009, 01:37 PM
Going from a crappy organization to a great organization will do that to you.

tyler289
03-31-2009, 02:10 PM
Seems like a great guy. You can never have enough of those.

BlastFurnace
03-31-2009, 02:27 PM
Nick Eason was a pleasant surprise last year. Seems like a great guy.

I would not have said it is great to have him on the team a year ago, but it's good to have him around.