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Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
TAMPA, Fla. -- There were a couple of very tender moments in John Lynch's retirement speech Monday that should be mentioned before they get lost in the glory of the ceremony and his brilliant career.
Lynch was known as a vicious hitter on the field, but he had a soft spot. That was demonstrated at the one point he really cried this afternoon.
Lynch choked up when he talked about losing Denver teammate Darrent Williams, who was killed earlier this year when his limousine was sprayed by bullets. Lynch spoke at Williams' funeral and made sure to remember him today.
But it went beyond that. Lynch also went on to mention other tragedies that touched his life. He spoke of former Bucs coach Tony Dungy and former teammates Trent Dilfer and Joe Jurevicious, who each lost a son at a very young age. He talked about the death of Francine Dimry, the wife of former Bucs cornerback Charles Dimry. As Francine was dying from leukemia, Lynch and his wife Linda, who didn't yet have children of their own, helped care for the Dimry's children.
One other name was mentioned and it probably didn't draw a lot of attention or recognition. That's former Tampa Bay linebacker Demetrius DuBose and it struck a chord with me.
Back in 1994's training camp, I remember doing a story on DuBose and Lynch when I worked for The Tampa Tribune. The theme of the story was how DuBose and Lynch were hoping to break out as they each began their second year in the league and it seemed so possible.
Both were bright guys, DuBose, a former Notre Dame captain and Lynch played at Stanford. They had lived together as rookies and DuBose had been in Lynch's wedding earlier that summer.
Things got complicated after that. Things went right for Lynch and he became a Pro Bowler. Things went horribly wrong for DuBose. He never developed into the player the Bucs hoped and didn't last long in the league. Not a lot is known about what happened to DuBose immediately after his career, but he drifted, had some problems and was killed when he was shot in an altercation with San Diego police in 1999. DuBose was hit 12 times.
Lynch, who grew up in San Diego, publicly questioned if police had used excessive force. An investigation later said they hadn't. By the time DuBose died, a lot of his former teammates had given up on him.
Lynch never did and he showed Monday he still cares about him.