(CBSNewYork)- New York Giants fourth round pick Darnay Holmes already has some familiarity with the NFL. His father, Darick Holmes, played in the league for five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts in the mid-to-late 90s.
Though Holmes was too young to remember his dad playing in the league (he was born in 1998), he says he has learned plenty of lessons from his father’s experiences. In a new letter published today on The Player’s Tribune, Holmes explains that the biggest lesson that he learned came from the financial side of things.
Holmes explains that growing up, things were pretty much what you would expect for the son of an NFL player, at least for a little while. Slowly, he began to notice changes, mostly in the family’s eating habits, chasing the best deals rather than eating anything they wanted off the menu.
Eventually, Holmes writes, there came a day where his father was shot in a drug deal gone bad and he ended up in the hospital handcuffed to the bed. It was at that point, Holmes writes, that he became determined to never put himself in that situation.
“And seeing my dad through that lens was extremely difficult, but ultimately I’m joyful for the journey. I feel eternally blessed that we didn’t lose him, and that he managed to turn things around and be a big part of my journey to the NFL. I’m grateful for all the talent and knowledge I’ve gotten from him when it comes to the game of football. But I’m also just as grateful for the lessons I’ve learned from him in terms of what not to do.
One of those lessons was that, just like the streets, the NFL is fast money. If you let fast money dictate your lifestyle and you choose liabilities over assets — not just in terms of what you do with your money, but with respect to the company you keep — it creates a drain. And once you create that drain and the game checks stop coming, it’s easy to go back to the streets looking for more fast money. That’s when things go bad.
It happened to my dad. It happens to way too many former football players.
But in that moment, standing in that hospital, I knew with certainty it would never happen to me. I was never going to let myself end up in that kind of situation.”
Holmes says that his dad told him and his brother that his biggest regret was not taking the game as seriously as he could have. The 21-year-old says he has no delusions that just because he was drafted that means he “made it”. He’s ready to continue putting in the work it takes to be a professional football player. And, judging by what he discusses doing in his time at UCLA, it would be hard to say he isn’t going to make it in the league for lack of work ethic.
The full piece, at The Player’s Tribune, is worth the read.