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Old 05-08-2006, 11:41 AM  
Mr. Krab Mr. Krab is offline
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Viva La Bam?

By Dave Mackall
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, May 8, 2006

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/trib.../s_451488.html

Former Steelers running back Byron "Bam" Morris wants to make an NFL comeback.

"If the Steelers would want to sign me, they wouldn't have to even buy me a plane ticket to get there. I'd drive," said Morris, 34, who was released from prison in 2004. "I don't want any favors, no special treatment. I'm not asking for no hand-me-downs because I know I won't get it.

"If people say, 'You don't have it,' I can live with it."

Morris' promising pro football career began in 1994 with the Steelers. It ended after drugs put the self-proclaimed "party animal" in a prison cell.

Morris gained his release from a Texas prison in July 2004 after serving 2 1/2 years for violating parole.

"There's no way I could ever go back to the way I used to live," said Morris, who claims he has overcome his troubles, which included years of substance abuse.

While Morris awaits a ruling from the NFL on his reinstatement request, he plays for an indoor league team in Texas. The Steelers declined to comment on Morris.

Morris leads the National Indoor Football League's Katy Copperheads in rushing (48.0 yards per game) and was tied for third in scoring (54 points) through last Sunday's 86-14 rout of Big Sky. Morris earns $300 a game, a far cry from his $1.2 million salary at the height of his NFL career.

"He's been nothing but a standup guy," said Bryan Blake, owner and coach of the Copperheads, who are based 20 miles west of Houston. "He's a role model to the other guys on the team, telling them things like how hard they have to work to get to the NFL."

In his early years, Morris loved to have a good time. Morris, a 6-foot-2, 258-pound native of Cooper, Texas, won the 1993 Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back while at Texas Tech.

"People told me I was a role model," Morris said, "but I didn't consider myself a role model. I didn't ask to be a role model. I was just blessed to have talent, and when you're in that position and you're young, sometimes you don't think about being responsible the way you should."

Morris said he is trying to use his misfortunes and mistakes as a learning tool."A guy told me, 'You know what, Bam? If you go to prison and gain the understanding and knowledge you need to live your life, then there's no reason to look at prison as a bad thing,' " Morris said.

"I thought about that for a while, and what I came up with was that it dramatically changed my life."

Morris was an integral part of the Steelers' team that reached Super Bowl XXX in 1996. He scored a touchdown and had a game-high 73 yards on 19 carries in the Super Bowl loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

On June 27, 1996, following his second season with the Steelers, Morris pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in a plea bargain in Rockwall County, Texas. Police found 4 kilograms of marijuana and 1 gram of cocaine in his car during a traffic stop.

He was fined $7,000 and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and six years probation.

He was released by the Steelers and picked up by the Baltimore Ravens.

But after two suspension-marred seasons for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the Ravens, too, released the troubled Morris when he was arrested for assaulting a woman.

Morris eventually played two productive seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. But in August 2000, Morris pleaded guilty to two counts of drug trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

A year later, he violated his parole and was imprisoned for nearly three years.

He has undergone regular drug testing since August 2004 and has followed the league's guidelines necessary for reinstatement.


Bam by the numbers

A look at the NFL regular-season career statistics of former Steelers running back Bam Morris:

Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att. Yds. TD Rec. Yds. TD
1994 Pit. 198 836 7 22 204 0
1995 Pit. 148 559 9 8 36 0
1996 Bal. 172 737 4 25 242 1
1997 Bal. 204 774 4 29 176 0
1998 Chi. 3 8 0 0 0 0
1998 K.C. 129 481 8 12 95 0
1999 K.C. 120 414 3 7 37 0
Total 974 3809 35 103 790 1


Dave Mackall can be reached at dmackall@tribweb.com or 412-380-5617
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:45 AM   #2
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:47 AM   #3
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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It's hard to believe he's only 34. I'm kind of surprised he never had a 1,000 yard season, too. When he was young, he was a Bettis clone - big guy, but with very nifty feet.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:16 PM   #5
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If you want to see just how horrible the league that he's playing in is, read this article that came out in our local paper today. His team just "played" here.

http://nwarktimes.com/nwat/Sports/40449/
Substitute Stars fall to Katy Texas in NIFL contest
BY BRANDON MARCELLO Special to the Times

Posted on Monday, May 8, 2006

Email this story | Printer-friendly version

Twenty-two minutes after the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff, 16 players trickled out of the Arkansas Stars’ locker room and onto the playing field inside the Randal Tyson Track Center, ending a week of questions of whether the team would play their scheduled home game Sunday.

At 7:27 p.m., the Stars kicked off to the visiting Katy (Texas) Copperheads from the goal post-less south end zone. The late kickoff and news that only one goal post would be used, however, could have been considered good news. An hour prior to kickoff, Stars receiver Taron Mahone was unsure if the team had enough players to even compete in the eighton-eight National Indoor Football League game. "I feel stranded," Mahone said, "and so do a lot of the guys in the locker room."

A week of uncertainty surrounded the expansion franchise as unpaid players became frustrated, and coaches quit the team. During the Stars’ 54-12 loss to the Copperheads, Arkansas went without the services of a head or assistant coach.

Former head coach Marshall Foreman was in the dressing room area and watched the game from the sidelines, but said he was there only "to watch a sporting event." "I had enough," said Foreman, who walked out of a team meeting Friday, quitting the expansion franchise.

Raymond House, who once served as head coach and then as an assistant after he was reassigned two weeks earlier, was not in the building. He quit the team Saturday, leaving the Stars without a coach for Sunday’s game. As a result, players called the plays on the field.

The game’s venue, the Randal Tyson Track Center, was not secured by the NIFL until Saturday. Then came the question of whether the players would show up to help assemble the playing surface last night at 10 p.m., knowing that owners Ron and Katona Hargrave would not be present for the game Sunday night. "We knew we had players," said general manager Cathy Cooper. "It’s not our own team. We wish it was, but it’s not. With the guys we have, it’s a great group of guys."

Several players who did not dress for the game, in protest of not being paid by the league for prior contests, did show up to watch the game as spectators, though.

For the players who toughed the ongoing negative situations and played Sunday, it was a showing of their football desire. "These guys love this game. That’s why they’re here," Cooper said. "We haven’t been together a long time, but in the short time we’ve been together we’ve become a small family."

The chaos before kickoff, though, was unmistakably realized by those involved. Katy coach Bryan Blake was at a loss for words. "I’ve never seen anything like this before," the coach, who also serves as team owner, said. "We were told the game was off yesterday, and then we were told to keep going to Arkansas."

Showing the dire situation the Stars were in, about 30 minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff, Stars defensive back Donte King entered the Copperheads’ locker room to ask a team trainer to provide the team athletic tape for his players’ ankles.

Stars running back and former Razorback Chrys Chukwuma, the first player signed by the expansion team, said he and other players learned to bite their tongue and ignore the negativity of the situation surrounding the team in Fayetteville. "As [Razorbacks’ football] coach Houston Nutt has said, persevere and you can go through anything. That’s what we did," Chukwuma said. "The guys who wanted to play, who aren’t worried about the negative stuff, they came out and worked hard."

The Stars are tentatively scheduled to host the Twin City Gators next Saturday. Chukwuma thinks the Stars will be ready and stable enough to host another squad. "This is a young league, but it’s very, very productive," he said. "That means, whatever it takes, we’re going to get it done."
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:38 PM   #7
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:42 PM   #8
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In another article I read, it talked about players being sighted chugging beers behind the complex 15 minutes before they hit the field.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:08 PM   #9
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by NewChief
In another article I read, it talked about players being sighted chugging beers behind the complex 15 minutes before they hit the field.

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Old 05-08-2006, 01:29 PM   #11
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I wonder what his career earnings were, and what his net worth is now?
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:29 PM   #12
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so bong morris wants to play in the nfl? he was a decent back here, but i think i'd pass on him. too much baggage, and aren't the chiefs trying to get younger?
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rain Man
I wonder what his career earnings were, and what his net worth is now?
My immediate thought was that the title should read "Bam Morris out of Money".
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:59 PM   #14
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Old 05-08-2006, 02:13 PM   #15
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I don't know if I'm more suprised he's trying to make a comeback, or that someone actually found it worth their while to write a story about him.

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