TAMPA, Fla. -- Following up an earlier item, Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett reflected Wednesday on the unknown person responsible for the execution-style murder of his mother when Dockett was 13.
This was as compelling an interview as we're likely to come across during interviews heading into Super Bowl XLIII. I'll include a transcript here.
Dockett on confronting the killer: "That's a demon that's inside of me that wishes I could sit down with that person and converse with them and ask what was going through their head. I want to let them know all the pain that they caused, but I also want to show them the good that came out of that whole situation and to forgive them. I learned from being on this team, going to bible study, getting closer to God and having teammates that are closer that force me to read the Bible more. The one thing I learned was forgiveness. I forgive them, but I still want to know why and what they were thinking. Personally, it is just to get the demons out."
On thinking like a detective: "For the first five or six years, I did. I used to always wonder if it was a family member, someone that was close to me, someone I see every now and then or if it was the neighbor. I used to wonder everything, but over time I became more focused. I was trying to do something that was best for me instead of sitting around getting in trouble or getting arrested. I felt like it was a time for me to move my focus and energy to something else and when the time comes, they will figure it out.
"I also realized that I was in the projects and a single black mom, they are not going to put a lot of emphasis on trying to find her killer, anyway. It's like me turning on CNN and they are looking for a little girl for like 2 years. It's not like that. They probably just look at it as another black person dying in the projects. I took it and moved on with it. I am just trying my best throughout my career to represent my mom and my family."
On his lighthearted demeanor: "I feel like nothing that I can go through in the everyday life from this point on can really affect or get me down. You can ask every one of my teammates, when I am in the locker room, I am on joke time. I am going to have a blast. My pain and my tears are gone. I have shed enough of them. When you see me, I am always on joke time. Some people say you play too much. But I say you better enjoy life, you better smile and enjoy this while you can. A lot of my teammates buy into that and they understand me."
On his roots in football: "When I first moved to Maryland and started playing football, I actually quit. I never played football. I was used to stealing cars and fighting. I remember talking to the coach and he asked me if I knew the three-point stance and I was like, 'No, but I can tell you how to steal a Buick Regal.' My uncle, I thank him so much because he forced me to play football. If I didn't play football, I was going to be on punishment for the rest of my life. So I just went out and tried. My first year, I sucked. The next season when I was 15, I started lifting weights, so from that and being big and fast, I built the confidence to continue playing."