Next Man Up

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When Ozzie McKenzie looks back at his life, when there’s a free moment to do so of course… what the workaholic President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Bandits organization sees is two very different worlds.
Being Poor doesn’t mean you’re dirty.
Two opposing universes that have had a hand in shaping today’s very recognizable Hall-of-Famer.
Being Poor doesn’t mean you’re not capable.
One which started-out full of family and love… while skipping stones along a sun-baked road every day after school – shoes optional.
“Nothing is impossible Oswald… nothing. Your mind is your real strength… remember that”, Uncle Ike’s alcoholic eyes burned.
Ozzie was 10 when he saw his first paved road.
Being Poor doesn’t mean you can’t dream big.
The other shaped by everything that comes with the modern world – the world that appears so different from his own… staring up at New York’s endless eye-full of concrete skyscrapers… then into horns blowing from a sea of yellow taxis…shocked at what he sees… the integration of crowded sidewalks… all of it from being flown in as a finalist for the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.
“Poverty is the greatest motivator of them all.”
Seeing this world very differently than his own Jim Crow Alabama – Ozzie’s trip changed him… focused him to the possibilities of what may be found inside him… to being a Champion… a respected Champion.
“The bomb blew a massive hole in the rear wall of the Church, destroying the back steps. There were children in the basement at the time. They were preparing for choir.”
Nine years old is not an age where hate like this can be understood.

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