As my Delta 757 touched down at La Guardia, I was thinking about the evening ahead. I only had a few hours until a car would be coming to drive me to the screening of the film “Bell Rung.” I had been credentialed to cover the documentary by Executive Producer, Dorsey Levens. Levens played his college ball at Notre Dame and Georgia Tech and spent 10 seasons in the NFL (named All-Pro in ’97). The title “Bell Rung” comes from a term used in football circles to describe the violent, jarring of the brain when hit. I reported on the “Bell Rung” premiere 8/7/12 held at the Plaza Theater in Atlanta.
My car was scheduled to arrive at 6pm for the 30 minute drive to the Schomburg Center in Harlem. He was 20 minutes late, which was unforeseen—I was steamed to say the least—as it had been arranged a week prior. Being a Cali-girl, this was only my second visit to New York. As I sat in the back seat and took in the City, I was concerned that I wouldn’t arrive before the film started. My mind wandered to how many times in life we are presented with the unexpected and at times, life-changing events, which are out of our control. I was pondering these thoughts as I noticed that we had driven past the same fruit stand twice. I asked the driver if we were close and he said, “Yes, 5 minutes away.” Somehow I didn’t believe him. No, we were not close. We were lost! It was like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney Land. This was not what I had in mind for this evening!
Perhaps that’s the way Ellis Hobbs felt (we meet him in Dorsey’s film) as he ran out onto the field in Philadelphia—he didn’t know that he was playing his last game and this would be his last run-back—not exactly what he had in mind. “It was pretty quiet and I couldn’t hear anything,” Hobbs recalled. “It was a clear night and the stars were out and it was just so quiet. I could hear the wheels on the grass and then I heard the wheels click on the concrete, and then the whistle blew. That’s when I knew the game had moved on without me.” My wild ride through the streets of NYC was an inconvenience. That night, the 21st of November, 2010, was a life-changing event for Mr. Hobbs.
Dorsey will be screening “Bell Rung” in Boston, October 18, 2012 at Northeastern University at 7pm. My hope is that when this film arrives in your city, that you will make the time to see it. Most of us will never play professional football and it’s difficult to understand exactly what these guys are going through. This Documentary gives you an “up close and personal” look at some of the health issues they are currently living with.
In life, we are all faced with certain challenges. It seems that, some days – I’m just “three and out.” The next week, I’m gaining some yardage and all of a sudden something comes off the edge and BAM! You know what I mean? Maybe your new job isn’t turning out the way you were hoping, your son didn’t get accepted to the school of his choice, the marriage you tried very hard to fix, and the friendship you wanted to mend—you get the idea. Then, it may be time to drop back and punt. That’s okay. The game’s not over. And the deal is, you’ll get the ball back. You will. Now—look up and read the defense. What are your options? Is what you’re facing inconvenient or life-changing? You decide and call the right play.