Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    52,219

    Five Years Later: Korey Stringer


    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    NordicNed is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    9,511

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    After fives years, it's still hard for me to read stuff like this about Korey's death...

    It actually brought a tear to my eye just now.....

    He was one of my favorite players and was in the prime of his playing career......God I miss him......

    Thanks for all the great moments you gave me Korey.......Rest in Peace.......


    I LOVE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE MORNING AIR.

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    52,219

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    [size=18px]Stringers struggle to move forward[/size]

    Five years after the Vikings lineman's death, his widow and son try to look to the future while still dealing with the pain of the past.

    Kevin Seifert, Star Tribune
    Last update: July 30, 2006 – 1:23 AM



    ATLANTA - The delivery man knocked on the door, jarring Kelci Stringer in mid-sentence as she chatted in her living room. She jumped up, found four UPS boxes on her porch and flinched ever so slightly after peeking inside: hundreds of condolence cards, retrieved from a forgotten Twin Cities storage lot.

    "I hope that this is the last of it," she said quietly.

    Five years have passed since her husband, Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer, died from heatstroke at the team's training camp. Yet even now, his wife and son remain surrounded and constantly reminded of their still-raw pain. Sitting in her tidy home, Kelci Stringer said she has struggled with depression and drinking while searching for ways to establish a legacy for her husband.

    She is financially secure, but her bitterness toward the Vikings sounds fresh, stemming from a new round of perceived slights.

    They include the termination of her son's health insurance and a judge's order that she pay team court costs.

    Although Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson dismissed her $100 million lawsuit against the Vikings coaches and medical staff, Stringer still insists "somebody dropped the ball" while treating Korey during his final two days. She admits to taking satisfaction in the team's problems since her husband's death.

    "The lawsuit was an unfortunate time to go through," said Vikings attorney Jim O'Neal. "It's time for that to be over."

    Through it all, Kelci, 32, has found comfort in Kodie, who at 8 bears an uncanny resemblance to his father and bears his personality as well. Kodie speaks often about Korey, saying that "my daddy is dead because he fell down when he was playing football." That interpretation may explain why Kodie refuses to watch NFL games and why he often tries to keep his opponents off the ground while playing little league football.

    "Kodie has been my stabilizer these past five years," Kelci said. "Kids have a way of making things better sometimes. But sometimes I feel very, very disheartened. I have this enormous guilt that I've missed my window of opportunity for maintaining Korey's legacy. We've had lawsuits and talked about hydration and supplements and contracts and everything else, but sometimes I think that who Korey was and what he was about has gotten lost in everything."

    The 'Gatorade mom'

    Water is arranged everywhere in Stringer's red-brick, four-bedroom house in Atlanta's Morningside neighborhood. Bottles line her refrigerator, cases are stacked in her SUV and eight canisters are in the driveway for the family dog, who has his own mini-cooler.

    Korey Stringer's death, on Aug. 1, 2001, a day when the heat index was 109 degrees, has turned her into a hydro- obsessed woman. She offers water constantly to guests and is known as the "Gatorade mom" around Kodie's sports teams.

    It is just one way she has tried to memorialize her husband, whose body temperature rose to 108.8 degrees after a 2½-hour practice at Mankato. Most efforts, she said, have been frustrating and short-lived.

    Stringer has given up on three different books about Korey and his death, but she hopes her fourth attempt will be published. Her Stringer Foundation, set up to help disadvantaged children, is in its second incarnation. She has lived in two different Atlanta neighborhoods, spent a summer in New York and traveled extensively to California over the past five years. She traces her restlessness to the whirlwind months after her husband's death.

    "I never went through the normal process of grieving," she said. "It was just one thing after another. As I look back, I was so depressed that I didn't even know I was depressed."

    She moved to Atlanta, her hometown, in March 2002, supported by an NFL pension worth about $1.4 million -- including 48 months of health insurance for Kodie -- and her husband's multimillion-dollar savings. For about a year, she said, she spent much of her time in the bathroom -- where she smoked, talked on the phone and drank half a bottle of vodka a night.

    Eight weeks of intensive therapy helped her understand and correct a pattern of "self-sabotage," but she still seems conflicted about how to move on from her husband's death without leaving him behind.

    "The hardest part is moving forward," she said. "I've thought about just breaking away from Korey altogether, changing my name back to Kelci Jones or Kelci Jones-Stringer. But I want to incorporate Korey into whatever I do because, in all honesty, his death is what catapulted me into a position where I could do something special.

    "It's a cycle, and I just keep going around and around. When you look back at this five years, it's why I haven't really accomplished that much. I hate it. I just hate it, hate it, hate it. But I definitely think I'm coming out of the gates now."

    Struggles with the NFL

    Part of her turmoil stems from the complicated relationship she and her husband had with the NFL. Korey was a kind, unassuming and genuine man, but he did not, Kelci said, carry blind loyalty for the league and was offended by the politics of furthering his career.

    Korey Stringer often would tell strangers he was a construction worker, and he once insisted at an autograph signing that his name was Orlando Thomas, the Vikings' free safety at the time. According to his wife, Korey signed Thomas' name for the entire show.

    Weight problems dogged Stringer's early career, but he weighed a relatively reasonable 336 pounds when he reported to camp in 2001, and the Vikings' final report on his death implies that he used a now-banned ephedrine diet supplement to lower his weight.

    For the first time last week, Kelci Stringer publicly acknowledged that her husband had used the supplement Ripped Fuel, which contained ephedrine. But she said she doesn't know whether he consumed it the day he died. An autopsy and toxicology report showed no evidence of ephedrine use, however. She called the issue "a moot point."

    In fact, Stringer considers the Vikings' decision to pursue the supplement angle -- and what she considers a larger pattern of neglect -- as the behavior of a club spurned by a potential member, mostly under ex-owner Red McCombs.

    Stringer recalled a Vikings' invitation to a game at the Metrodome in 2002. She accepted, sat with wives of Korey's former teammates, then was later billed, she said, for the tickets.

    She said she has asked for the helmet and uniform Korey wore the day he collapsed. The team sent her a helmet, she said, but it was not his, and it never gave her the uniform.

    Stringer also sounds livid about Larson's order in 2003 to pay the Vikings $47,588, covering part of the team's court costs from her lawsuit. O'Neal said the team has not forgiven the debt, but has not attempted to collect.

    Finally, she says, she wishes the Vikings or NFL would have found a way to permanently memorialize her husband, other than retiring his No. 77 jersey, and she contends that someone could have stepped up to pay Kodie's $790 monthly health insurance bill when the 48-month term expired.

    O'Neal said he did not know the details of the issues raised by Kelci Stringer.

    "It's like they think he [Korey] caused his own death because of recklessness," said Stringer, who has since filed a $100 million suit against the NFL and Riddell, a helmet manufacturer, in federal court in Ohio. That case is pending.

    A reflection of his father

    A case of diet milkshakes rests on the counter of the Stringer home, prescribed by Kodie's pediatrician, alarmed by the boy's 135-pound frame.

    Kodie is Korey's son in nearly every way. During a 10-minute conversation last week, he spouted plot lines from at least 15 movies. He hummed and talked to himself around the house, reminiscent of his father's near-constant monologues.

    Kelci also recently caught Kodie twisting his hair as if to create dreadlocks.

    "I asked him, 'Why are you doing that?' " she said. "He told me, 'I don't know. I guess because Dad always did it.' "

    Indeed, reporters approaching Stringer after games could find him sitting on a stool, twisting his braids as he considered the day's events. Kodie remembers that and much more about his father: birthday parties at their home in Eden Prairie, a trip to Northwest Fitness Center to watch his dad and the man he calls "Uncle Randy" -- as in Moss -- play basketball.

    The most jarring comparison came last week on a practice field, where Kodie and his fellow Knights were practicing. Kodie played right tackle, his father's position, in 2004 and 2005, but his coach has moved him to left tackle.

    Like his father, Kodie has a complicated relationship with football. He appears to enjoy playing, especially getting into his stance, an act that transforms his kind face into a warrior's grimace. Yet he has refused, sometimes belligerently, to watch NFL games on TV, choosing to stare at the ceiling rather than the television.

    "It's like punishment for him," Kelci Stringer said. "It's just bizarre."

    But after watching her son repeatedly hold his opponents up during games, she theorized that he was protecting them -- and himself -- from his father's fate.

    That deportment has faded a bit, and during practice last week he flattened three boys during a one-on-one drill. But his grandfather Harold Jones still sees plenty of Korey's gentle presence in the child.

    "He's a lot like his dad, just real laid-back on the field," Jones said. "We're trying to get him to be more aggressive on the field, but if that's not him, it's not him. We won't force it."

    As Kodie practices, his mother watches quietly.

    "There is so much Korey could be helping him with," she said, "and I think Korey really would have benefited from seeing another version of himself on the field. I think that's the hardest thing, is watching Kodie and wondering what Korey would think."

    Like boxes on a porch, the memories will continue to arrive.

    Kevin Seifert • 612-673-4793

    PHOTOS OF THE FAMILY

    For a look at the Stringers now, go to http://www.startribune.com/10001/gallery/579579.html

    Stringers struggle to move forward

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
    FedjeViking is offline Ring of Fame
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    4,159

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    Hey singer I already added this link in the 'heat' thread. I thought it pertained to the subject there. :lol:

    Guess I'll wait and see what (if anything) you miss! :lol:
    [move]"Our day WILL come!! I just hope I LIVE long enough to see it!"[/move]

  5. #5
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    52,219

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    "FedjeViking" wrote:
    Hey singer I already added this link in the 'heat' thread. I thought it pertained to the subject there. :lol:

    Guess I'll wait and see what (if anything) you miss! :lol:
    Hey Fedje! Why did you post it there when this thread already existed? :lol:

    I created both threads & if I felt it should have been there, that's where I would have put it. :wink:

    Remembering Korey deserves a thread of it's own as you can see by the 2nd article. :wink:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  6. #6
    FedjeViking is offline Ring of Fame
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    4,159

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    "singersp" wrote:
    "FedjeViking" wrote:
    Hey singer I already added this link in the 'heat' thread. I thought it pertained to the subject there. :lol:

    Guess I'll wait and see what (if anything) you miss! :lol:
    Hey Fedje! Why did you post it there when this thread already existed? :lol:

    I created both threads & if I felt it should have been there, that's where I would have put it. :wink:

    Remembering Korey deserves a thread of it's own as you can see by the 2nd article. :wink:

    I give up for now! :lol: See above quote! :lol:
    [move]"Our day WILL come!! I just hope I LIVE long enough to see it!"[/move]

  7. #7
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    52,219

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    I always wear my Korey Stringer jersey to the Vikings 1st home pre-season game. It's been a tradition for me.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  8. #8
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    West Fargo, ND
    Posts
    17,601
    Blog Entries
    1

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    Part of me is always saddened when I think of Korey. And part of me is both saddened and angered when I hear anything about Kelci. She will never be able to get past Korey's death until she accepts it. And she won't be able to accept it while she is still insistent on blaming somebody for it...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

  9. #9
    AngloVike's Avatar
    AngloVike is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Sandhurst, UK
    Posts
    6,768
    Blog Entries
    4

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    "singersp" wrote:
    I always wear my Korey Stringer jersey to the Vikings 1st home pre-season game. It's been a tradition for me.
    and I always take time on the 1st August to remember Korey - I always give thanks for my birthday being that day and also make sure to say something for Korey.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  10. #10
    PurplePackerEater is offline Ring of Fame
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    3,738

    Re: Five Years Later: Korey Stringer

    I can't believe it's been 5 years already, wow.



    R.I.P. Korey.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Remember Korey Stringer
    By AngloVike in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-04-2010, 06:16 AM
  2. Korey Stringer
    By AngloVike in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-02-2008, 02:32 AM
  3. Korey Stringer
    By AngloVike in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-01-2007, 03:17 PM
  4. Koro wins Korey Stringer good guy award
    By cc21 in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 12-30-2005, 03:17 AM
  5. Korey Stringer Game Used Jersey
    By HerdDaVikes in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-15-2005, 05:05 PM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •