Atlanta, GA – As a kid, Tyrone Poole never thought about playing sports beyond playing in the neighborhood until his elementary P.E. coach, Coach Parsons, asked him about playing organized sports. Poole said that Coach Parsons saw his talent and how athletics came easy for him. Poole said that Coach Parsons’s influence was the launching pad for his athletic career. Poole says that he talks about Coach Parsons in his book “Ultimate Success In The Game Of Life.” In the book, Poole shares the principles of his success, stating there is success and “ultimate success.” Poole says, “Success is the plane taking off and ultimate success is the plane landing at its destination.” A natural-born athlete, Poole was not only able to get his proverbial plane in the air, but land it as well.
After playing college football at Fort Valley State University, Poole was a first-round NFL Draft pick for the Carolina Panthers in 1995. His career would take him from the Panthers, to teams across the NFL including the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, and the Tennessee Titans. While at New England, Poole won two Super Bowl rings, one in 2003 as he faced off against his first NFL team, the Carolina Panthers, and the other after the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004. In his 12 seasons in the NFL as a corner back, Poole had 18 interceptions and 145 tackles, which included six sacks and five forced fumbles.
When asked on Applebee’s Tailgate Talk what it was like for a kid out of LaGrange, Georgia, to go from Fort Valley State College to the NFL, Poole responded, “It was like a deer in the headlights.” He said, “If you don’t have the right instructions or follow the right manual, it’s easy to mess up. The most difficult thing is the mental capacity of the NFL. Mentally, that game runs 1000 miles per hour. NFL veterans helped me a lot.”
On the show, Poole was asked about his most memorable moment during his time in the NFL. He said, “The greatest memory that I am always going to take with me is the fact that I won the two Super Bowls and to see that confetti fall from the rafters and to see the smile on everyone’s face. When I look back, there were 31 other teams who said the same thing (they were going to win the Super Bowl). From OTA (Organized Team Activities) to training camps, we were the only ones standing at the end of the season. That confetti falling, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and the Super Bowl rings, those are like having your first child or walking across the stage to get your degree. Those are things that you just won’t forget.”
Tyrone Poole’s book “Ultimate Success In The Game Of Life” is currently available at TyronePoole38.com.
Muscle Shoals, Ala. – The field at Muscle Shoals High School bears his name. The first player from Muscle Shoals to be drafted in the NFL, Homan was an exceptional all-around athlete. After graduating from Muscle Shoals High School, Homan went on to play for Paul “Bear” Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide. In the days when Homan played for the Tide, freshmen did not get to play. As a freshman in 1964, Homan said, “We got beat around by the seniors to help them win the national championship.” Homan’s freshman year, Joe Namath was under center for the Tide. Waiting in the wings was Homan’s roommate, Kenny Stabler. When asked about staying out of trouble with Stabler, Homan jokingly said, “I tried my best with Kenny, that’s for sure!” As a player, Homan originally came in as a running back, but became a two year starter at split end. On the other side of the field was another great receiver in Ray Perkins. As for Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, Homan said, “That was a man I feared more than any man in my life. A lot of our motivation was out of fear. We lost three games in four years and I remember the price we paid after each loss.” As a matter of fact, Homan said that before his senior year, he and his, now, wife of 48 years wanted to get married, but Homan said, “Coach Bryant put a squash on that.” Taking Coach Bryant’s advice, they waited until after his senior year to get married. In his time under Coach Bryant’s guidance, Homan was a two time SEC performer and was also named an All-American and Academic All-American his senior year, after making 54 receptions for 820 yards and nine touchdowns. The Tide won the national championship in 1965 and was undefeated in 1966. After Alabama defeated Nebraska 34-7 in the 1967 Sugar Bowl and Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers went on to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I, Coach Lombardi was asked how it felt to be the best team in the world. His response was, “I don’t know, we haven’t played Alabama yet”. In the Senior Bowl, Homan was named the MVP of the South team. In 1968, Homan was selected in the first round draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Of his time in Dallas, Homan said, “I tried my best and did everything I could do”. His 1969 season with the Cowboys was his most productive on the field with 12 catches and 240 yards. While Homan was in Dallas, another familar Alabama name, Lee Roy Jordan, was there as well. Homan said, “Lee Roy was a great friend in Dallas and took me under his wing. He showed me what I needed to do and what I didn’t need to do.” Homan went on to say, “It was great having someone out there who came from the same place I came from. Lee Roy Jordan and his wife were good to both Charlotte and I.” On his years of playing football, and his life in general, Homan said, “The Lord has blessed me”. He went on to say that he wouldn’t take anything for the relationships made at Alabama, Dallas, and the Kansas City Chiefs. For his success on the field Homan was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. On or off the field, Homan said that he lives by the “Four F’s”. They are faith, family, friends, and football (in that order). Being able to use his success as a platform to share his faith is important to him. He said, “I’ll be stopped by someone in a store and it gives me an opportunity to share my faith with them.” Looking back, Homan said, “I wouldn’t change my life. I don’t believe I could’ve planned it any better. I’ve got the most beautiful wife, I’ve got a beautiful daughter, and I have a great son. When talking about the grandchildren, Homan said that they are all great athletes as well, but they don’t have to play sports to make him happy. In 2015, Homan’s wife, Charlotte, was included in Bill Norvell’s book “Inspiration From Anytown, USA.” Appropriately, her story was placed in chapter 25 of Norvell’s book which was Homan’s football number. As for his thoughts on Coach Nick Saban and what he’s done at Alabama, Homan said, “He has a great philosophy in what he’s doing. He’s bringing in great players and teaching them what it takes to win.” Having been coached by Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant himself, Homan is certainly no stranger to coaches who know how to win. Speaking of people who know how to win, it was Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who famously said, “I ain’t never been nothin’ but a winner”. Well, Mr. Dennis Homan is among those winners. You can “Mark It Down”.