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royr17
02-27-2006, 03:08 AM
http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9269683

Liberian refugee Hali making inspiring run for NFL

Feb. 26, 2006
By Pete Prisco
CBS SportsLine.com Staff Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!

INDIANAPOLIS -- They come to the NFL scouting combine with all sorts of stories, detailing the life hardships they encountered in their journey to get here.

Tamba Hali's story had an impact at the combine. (Getty Images)
We've heard all the tales before from the prospects. The kid whose family left him, the player whose mother was killed in a horrific incident and countless other gut-wrenching stories.

Tamba Hali has one that's right up there with any of them.

Hali is a pass-rushing defensive end from Penn State who is a lock to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, in a league where a premium is placed on getting to the quarterback.

He is about to become a rich man, beyond anything he could have imagined when he was a child on the harsh streets of Liberia.

Tackling a running back is nothing compared to fleeing rebels with machine guns during a civil war.

"We were sitting there -- I remember my mother, she was cooking," Hali said. "Gunfire just started erupting all over the place. Then, that was like, all the time. It started happening frequently. We went into hiding. My stepdad would get a car and we'd go into a village far away from the city. We'd go to a far village, spend about six months there and come back out. Things would cease a little bit, and then they start again."

Hali fled the country at the urging of his mother. He and his siblings joined his father in the United States. He was 12. He left behind his mother, who no longer was married to his father and could not come to the U.S.

"It's been tough, first, going through life with your mother (in that situation), and then going through the second half of your 22 years without her," Hali said. "You deal with it and work through it."

And some players think they had it hard. It's that drive and desire to be something better that has impressed many of the NFL personnel here this week.

"It's a great story, and you know he's going to appreciate all he has," said one AFC scout. "He'll work his ass off."

At 6-2, 270, Hali has great speed coming off the edge. What's even better is that he started his career at Penn State as a defensive tackle, which means he should be a good run player. Some scouts worry he might be a little short for the position, but he's taller than Dwight Freeney of the Colts, and we know how good a player he has become.

Hali is considered by most scouts to be the second- or third-ranked defensive end, depending on the board. North Carolina State's Mario Williams is clearly No. 1, and he will be gone in the first five picks. After that, it's Hali and Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka.

"It's not a great class," said the AFC scout. "But we know how teams press to find the pass rushers. That will help these guys."

Hali's story has even touched some of the gritty NFL front-office types and coaches.

"I was just overwhelmed, not only with his story, but the way he told it," Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said. "You could hear a pin drop in our interview room when he was done telling his story."

Hali has applied to be a U.S citizen and is awaiting word as to when he will take the test. When he becomes a citizen, he will be free to bring his mother over.

She doesn't understand the notion of football right now, but she knows her son plays the game. When she gets here, she also understand the perks that go with playing the game -- maybe more so than another mother in the league.

"It's going to be very drastic for her," he said. "She's going to go from living in, like, a hut, to living in a nice home, which she's never lived in before."

Hali laughed when he said that. He does that a lot, in fact. That's what appreciation for life can do to somebody. Hali clearly has that and more.

Think about his improbable story. Here's a man who spent six months as a child fleeing for his life in a war-torn country and now he's less than two months away from being in the NFL.

It's hard not to like.

"It's hard to explain to somebody what it's like on the other side, when they haven't really going through it," he said. "We produce a lot of war games, and we see what's happened in Iraq. It's hard to really explain to people actually being in that situation and feeling like, 'Maybe today I could die,' and watching people get killed - family members and all of them."

After saying his family fled from people, he was asked who they were running to avoid.

"Rebels," he said.

How in the heck could the questioner understand that?

If Hali becomes a productive NFL player, which is hard to imagine not happening, his story will become even better known.

It has that movie feel, right? Only the sad thing is, it's 100-percent real.

In a weekend of stories, this one certainly topped them all.

RedThat
02-27-2006, 10:06 AM
http://cbs.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9269683

Liberian refugee Hali making inspiring run for NFL

Feb. 26, 2006
By Pete Prisco
CBS SportsLine.com Staff Writer
Tell Pete your opinion!

INDIANAPOLIS -- They come to the NFL scouting combine with all sorts of stories, detailing the life hardships they encountered in their journey to get here.

Tamba Hali's story had an impact at the combine. (Getty Images)
We've heard all the tales before from the prospects. The kid whose family left him, the player whose mother was killed in a horrific incident and countless other gut-wrenching stories.

Tamba Hali has one that's right up there with any of them.

Hali is a pass-rushing defensive end from Penn State who is a lock to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, in a league where a premium is placed on getting to the quarterback.

He is about to become a rich man, beyond anything he could have imagined when he was a child on the harsh streets of Liberia.

Tackling a running back is nothing compared to fleeing rebels with machine guns during a civil war.

"We were sitting there -- I remember my mother, she was cooking," Hali said. "Gunfire just started erupting all over the place. Then, that was like, all the time. It started happening frequently. We went into hiding. My stepdad would get a car and we'd go into a village far away from the city. We'd go to a far village, spend about six months there and come back out. Things would cease a little bit, and then they start again."

Hali fled the country at the urging of his mother. He and his siblings joined his father in the United States. He was 12. He left behind his mother, who no longer was married to his father and could not come to the U.S.

"It's been tough, first, going through life with your mother (in that situation), and then going through the second half of your 22 years without her," Hali said. "You deal with it and work through it."

And some players think they had it hard. It's that drive and desire to be something better that has impressed many of the NFL personnel here this week.

"It's a great story, and you know he's going to appreciate all he has," said one AFC scout. "He'll work his ass off."

At 6-2, 270, Hali has great speed coming off the edge. What's even better is that he started his career at Penn State as a defensive tackle, which means he should be a good run player. Some scouts worry he might be a little short for the position, but he's taller than Dwight Freeney of the Colts, and we know how good a player he has become.

Hali is considered by most scouts to be the second- or third-ranked defensive end, depending on the board. North Carolina State's Mario Williams is clearly No. 1, and he will be gone in the first five picks. After that, it's Hali and Boston College's Mathias Kiwanuka.

"It's not a great class," said the AFC scout. "But we know how teams press to find the pass rushers. That will help these guys."

Hali's story has even touched some of the gritty NFL front-office types and coaches.

"I was just overwhelmed, not only with his story, but the way he told it," Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said. "You could hear a pin drop in our interview room when he was done telling his story."

Hali has applied to be a U.S citizen and is awaiting word as to when he will take the test. When he becomes a citizen, he will be free to bring his mother over.

She doesn't understand the notion of football right now, but she knows her son plays the game. When she gets here, she also understand the perks that go with playing the game -- maybe more so than another mother in the league.

"It's going to be very drastic for her," he said. "She's going to go from living in, like, a hut, to living in a nice home, which she's never lived in before."

Hali laughed when he said that. He does that a lot, in fact. That's what appreciation for life can do to somebody. Hali clearly has that and more.

Think about his improbable story. Here's a man who spent six months as a child fleeing for his life in a war-torn country and now he's less than two months away from being in the NFL.

It's hard not to like.

"It's hard to explain to somebody what it's like on the other side, when they haven't really going through it," he said. "We produce a lot of war games, and we see what's happened in Iraq. It's hard to really explain to people actually being in that situation and feeling like, 'Maybe today I could die,' and watching people get killed - family members and all of them."

After saying his family fled from people, he was asked who they were running to avoid.

"Rebels," he said.

How in the heck could the questioner understand that?

If Hali becomes a productive NFL player, which is hard to imagine not happening, his story will become even better known.

It has that movie feel, right? Only the sad thing is, it's 100-percent real.

In a weekend of stories, this one certainly topped them all.

Wow. Very touching story, nice article. If Hali becomes a player, his story will be inspiring to a lot of those young kids that plan to become professional NFL football players.

Mr. Laz
02-27-2006, 10:14 AM
Wow. Very touching story, nice article. If Hali becomes a player, his story will be inspiring to a lot of those young kids that plan to become professional NFL football players.
must you quote the ENTIRE story :shake:







nice story about Hali

RedThat
02-27-2006, 10:26 AM
must you quote the ENTIRE story :shake:

what's the big deal? Who cares?

Mr. Laz
02-27-2006, 12:05 PM
what's the big deal? Who cares?

it's annoying and usually considered bad "BBS etiquette"


you quote the part that you specifically want to reply to OR just reply.


why make all the people looking at the thread scroll through the story twice with nothing added.


same thing goes for quoting and replying to a post with a big picture in it.... quote the words, don't quote the picture UNLESS something about the picture is directly related to your added comments.




:shrug: i'm just saying

RedThat
02-27-2006, 12:26 PM
it's annoying and usually considered bad "BBS etiquette"


you quote the part that you specifically want to reply to OR just reply.


why make all the people looking at the thread scroll through the story twice with nothing added.


same thing goes for quoting and replying to a post with a big picture in it.... quote the words, don't quote the picture UNLESS something about the picture is directly related to your added comments.




:shrug: i'm just saying

alright....sorry dude

Spicy McHaggis
02-27-2006, 12:34 PM
I really hope Hali is on the board when we pick.

royr17
02-27-2006, 12:45 PM
Whats really interestin to me is that he was a Defensive Tackle when he first arrived at Penn State.

BigChiefFan
02-27-2006, 01:30 PM
I really hope Hali is on the board when we pick.
You and every other Chief fan. Hali is a quality player and I fear that he has already elevated his stock to going before we pick. He's a prototypical DE. He's got the size, speed, and stats to back his play. He also has played DT so he's stout against the run.

Mr. Laz
02-27-2006, 04:24 PM
You and every other Chief fan. Hali is a quality player and I fear that he has already elevated his stock to going before we pick. He's a prototypical DE. He's got the size, speed, and stats to back his play. He also has played DT so he's stout against the run.

not really... he's too short to be a prototypical DE and he's not all that stout against the run.


i'm not saying he sucks ... just that he's a bit of a tweener.


he's almost a heavy linebacker ... he reminds me of jevon kearse a little bit.

Mecca
02-27-2006, 04:27 PM
not really... he's too short to be a prototypical DE and he's not all that stout against the run.


i'm not saying he sucks ... just that he's a bit of a tweener.


he's almost a heavy linebacker ... he reminds me of jevon kearse a little bit.

I doubt he has the speed Kearse once had.......He's not on that elite level of speed like a Kearse use to have or a Rice or someone like that. He's probably more 2nd tier but that would still be a large upgrade for what we have.

penchief
02-27-2006, 05:12 PM
You and every other Chief fan. Hali is a quality player and I fear that he has already elevated his stock to going before we pick. He's a prototypical DE. He's got the size, speed, and stats to back his play. He also has played DT so he's stout against the run.

I'd trade up for him. Having Hali come of the left end and Allen come off the right, our DT's are automatically better. If we can also get a big body for the middle I believe that Hali and that big body will do more to transform our defense than anything else.