By Dennis Richardson
I had stopped watching NFL games after so many players acted so arrogantly about how important they were to the sporting fans and who created a stage to boast their own platforms in front of the national TV audiences. Maybe the statements they made were warranted but air time is sold for that purpose. National TV is not the place to poach free air time in order to make them in my opinion.
This game was different. Even many who cared nothing about football watched in honor of a local really nice guy who played for the eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Our part of the state is traditionally orange and white or two-tone Titan blue. Not this week.
A lot of people, especially in our home county, instantly converted to Buccaneer fans, not because Tampa Bay is a fan-favorite team, but because of one young man. Tanner Hudson is from small-town Camden in small Benton County. He played for a relatively small school by national standards – Camden Central High School, a Class 3A school.
Tanner did not get courted by many of the big D-1 name schools. He injured his spleen his senior year which sat him out the second half of the season.
Although he did go to Memphis he was not happy with the little playing time he got. He was determined to show what he could do on the field so he transferred to Southern Arkansas, instead. There he won some good conference honors before being asked to walk on at Tampa Bay.
At only 26 years old he now wears a shiny Super Bowl ring. If a pass had been on-target he would have had a touchdown reception in the second half of Tampa Bay’s 31-9 thrashing of the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Our hats are off to Tanner and this fantastic experience that brought a world of excitement to his home county and gave those in surrounding counties something to cheer about.
It was not “just another Super Bowl”. It was a shining beacon in an otherwise dreary COVID-19 year.
And they stood for the National Anthem! The whole community stood to cheer him on. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Thanks go to Tanner and his big family.
There. Something nice and light for our readers.
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