Antrell Rolle is not ashamed of it. "I’m a ‘momma’s boy,’" he says proudly.
In fact, the Arizona Cardinals’ new cornerback – the No. 8 overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft – did not want to move far from home when he graduated from high school.
Considered the top defensive back prospect in South Florida when he played for South Dade High in Homestead, Antrel opted to go no further from home than to the University of Miami. "I didn’t really want to be far from home," he says. "The furthest I would have gone was the University of Florida."
So it’s safe to say that Armelia Rolle will be getting a big Mother’s Day present from her NFL rookie son next Sunday, May 8.
Every year, NFL players -- using the smallest gestures and the grandest of plans -- devise creative ways to express appreciation for the love and support they have received from their mothers.
A few ways NFL players plan to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 8:
BROTHERLY LOVE: New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and his twin brother, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde, plan to treat their mom Geraldine to a brand-new Mercedes. It may be extravagant, but they think she’s worth every penny.
"Our mom means so much to us," says Tiki. "She sacrificed a lot to make sure we would not need or want for anything."
Not only will the car symbolize their love, but it also will serve a practical function.
"Mom is a big traveler," says Tiki. "With two sons on opposite ends of the east coast, she has to be. In fact, she drives so much that her seven-year-old car already has 100,000 miles on it. It's time for an upgrade. Of anyone in our lives, she deserves it."
YOU’RE RETIRED!: As an early Mother’s Day present, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver-kick returner Dante Hall told his mom she was no longer working.
CAROLYN HALL spent the past 17 years working at Houston’s Passport Agency. All told, she has been in the workforce since she was 16 and often worked two jobs to make ends meet.
"She spent so much of her life working to give me the things I needed growing up," says Dante. "Retiring her was my way of thanking her for everything she did to help me along the way."
Dante’s retirement present was a house for mom just four miles from his own in Houston, Texas. "She loves that house so much," says Dante. "She was so happy when she first stepped into it that she started crying. It was very emotional for both of us because it signified that we had finally made it."
Carolyn is enjoying retirement. "At first, I didn’t know what to do because I had been working for so long," she says. "I was never able to enjoy myself before. I was always worried about putting food on the table. Now I’m able to do the things I want to do. It’s the best gift I could have ever received."
Seattle Seahawks 2005 first-round draft pick Chris Spencer will make sure that his courageous mother, Sharon Wallace, never wants or needs for anything. Wallace is retiring at the age of 37 after
working several jobs and undergoing brain surgeries. She gave birth to
Spencer as a teenager.
A FAMILY AFFAIR: San Diego Chargers wide receiver Kassim Osgood is planning a "day of dates" for his mom. A limo will take her to four outings -- one with each of her children with a topping-it-all-off dinner together.
In the morning, mom Phyllis will join Kassim’s sister at a local spa for several hours of pampering. Afterwards she will enjoy lunch with his brother. On the third date, Kassim will escort her on a shopping spree. Then the whole family will meet at a restaurant of her choice for dinner.
BACK TO BASICS: Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick understands that sometimes the little things matter most.
"There’s nothing unusual about my plans for Mother’s Day," says Peter. "But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big deal.
"It’s an absolute must to be with my mom on Mother’s Day. I am her only child. She always tells me I don’t owe her anything, but that just makes her more special to me."
Warrick’s mother JoAnn lives in Ellenton, Florida.
"I’ll start the day taking her to church and then we’ll have a nice meal together," says Peter. "Then I’ll probably invite some friends over and do some barbecuing. The rest of the day, it’s whatever she wants. It’s her day."
BON APPETIT!: Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is planning an all-day feast for his mom Joy.
She will rise to breakfast in bed when he cooks her favorite meal at 7:00 AM. It will be bacon, eggs (scrambled hard), biscuits (with apple butter) and whole-wheat waffles.
During the afternoon, Dwight will exercise and run errands before rejoining Joy to escort her to a local steakhouse. The reservation must be for no later than 8:00 PM, per Joy’s request.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Some NFL players celebrate Mother’s Day by hosting functions for the moms in their community.
Dallas Cowboys safety Roy Williams will accompany a group of women from the Roy Williams Safety Net Foundation, which provides financial support and guidance to single mothers in low-income households, to a nice dinner in the city.
In Tampa Bay for the second consecutive year, Buccaneers linebackers Ryan Nece and Shelton Quarles will team with Family First to recognize the year’s Top 50 Moms in the Bay Area.
Together the players review more than 1,000 applications submitted by loved ones, but the criteria isn’t what one might expect.
"We’re not looking for the Bucs’ best fans," says Ryan. "We’re looking for the best moms."
"We want stories of people who have heart, and enjoy their relationships," says Shelton. "We look at a lot of different things."
Those selected will be treated to a special luncheon at Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs’ home, where prizes will be presented. All 50 moms invited will receive a gift bag while the top two runners-up for Top Mom will receive two front-row Buccaneers game tickets.
The Top Mom also will receive front-row seats and, in addition, she and her guest will have their photos taken with Ryan and Shelton on the field prior to the game.
But the guys consider themselves the real winners.
"Last year we put it out there like it was a prize for them to have lunch with us," says Nece. "After we read the stories and selected the top 50, we realized we were honored to be in that room."