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Joseph Addai's big heart

If you don't know anything about Colts first round pick Joseph Addai, read this article. After reading it, if you don't fall immediately in love with the guy, go to your local funeral home and request they dig a grave for you.

I'd read some things prior to the draft about Addai and his high school friend LaJuan Moore, but Phil Richards article in the Indianapolis Star really tells the whole story. Addai and Moore played high school ball together in Texas. On a routine tackle, Moore damaged his spinal cord. He is now paralyzed from the chest down.

Since the accident, Addai has been there as support for Moore, and vice versa:

Addai carries Moore up stairs, or into their senior prom. Moore picks up Addai after tough games or bad days. Brothers in arms, they have become.

"He does everything I do here at the house," says Moore's mother, Charlotte Beverly, who quit her job to stay home and care for her son. "He feeds LaJuan, he dresses him, he bathes him, he takes care of his medicine. I don't have a problem when LaJuan goes to see Joseph, or I go on a little vacation, because (Joseph) takes care of everything. He makes sure."

Moore and Addai's friendship is very uplifting. It makes one understand, just like the death of James Dungy, that football is only a game. When I see fans sling personal insults at each other on gameday or get overly agitated when something is happening (or not happening) in a football game, I think of stories like the Dungy family and LaJuan Moore, and football truly comes into perspective.

Moore attended several LSU games, and plans to attend many Colts games. The article tells the story of Addai's parents, his friendship with Moore, and how the two have lived with the injury. It's a wonderful read.

The article mentioned two additional things that are of interest. The first is something we at Stampede Blue have said since Addai came on the draft radar:

Addai is 5-11 and 214 pounds, almost precisely [Edgerrin] James' size, but he is no James -- not yet, anyway. But he has one thing James lacked: a third gear. Addai's 4.43-second 40-yard dash was the quickest run by a running back at the 2006 National Football Scouting Combine. He was timed at 4.37 unofficially.
I loved Edgerrin James as a Colt, but he lacked breakaway speed. Teams simply did not fear his ability to take the ball 60 yards for a touchdown. Addai has the ability. It should be interesting to see if he can do it on the pro level, and if he can... well, to quote now-retired broadcaster Keith Jackson: Woah Nellie!

The other point involves the article mentioning a special apartment arranged on LSU's campus with wheelchair access for Moore when he would visit. We trust that this apartment was not acquired in a manner resembling Reggie Bush's recent issue with a family home. Addai seems to be a high character player, unlike Bush who may have lied to the Texans prior to the draft regarding the family home, and that lie might have cost Bush the first overall selection. We'll keep an eye on this.

Addai strikes us as a potential homerun draft pick, both his his ability and his character.