Sunday, February 7, 2010
Ex-Bills lineman Hargrove rallies back
MIAMI -- The Buffalo Bills unearthed a gem when they identified defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove as a player they wanted in 2006.
Hargrove wasn't ready to shine yet.
NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert wrote a gripping feature about Hargrove's sobriety and how a revelation allowed Hargrove to pull out of a tailspin and reach the Super Bowl as a significant contributor for the New Orleans Saints.
Hargrove was unemployed when he watched last year's Super Bowl from a South Florida rehab facility.
"When you go through a period like that in treatment, you see so much," Hargrove said. "I saw a lot of different things. I saw death. I saw people just giving up on life.
"So you switch. You turn over. You say to yourself, I don't want to get to that point where I just give up on life, or I just throw in my cards and say 'I'm done with this.' I'm always telling people we can always do stuff with time. It's not over until we see 0:00 on the clock."
The St. Louis Rams drafted Hargrove in the third round in 2004. He became a starter in his second season, recording 6.5 sacks. But Hargrove frequently ran into off-field trouble and eventually was traded to the Bills for a fifth-round draft pick during the 2006 season.
Hargrove was suspended four games in 2007 for multiple violations of the league's substance-abuse policy. Another positive drug test got him suspended for the entire 2008 season.
"I've laid my head at night in a lot of places, in a lot of beds and a lot of cities," Hargrove said. "Sometimes at night, when I look at the sky and just sit in that moment, I realize how wonderful life can be."