Archive for August, 2012

Another week has come & gone and Chelsea Pride Football & Cheer is still standing tall.

Chelsea Pride Football & Cheer being suspended from the youth league they had called home since being established 4 yrs ago has touched many people. Some people involved, many Chelsea Natives, have invested their blood, sweat & tears into building this youth program.

There’s no questions in the short 4 yrs Pride has been involved in The NEC it’s had some troubles. You have to also
understand that in this short few yrs there’s been 3 presidents. Last president became president pretty much by default. Latest was voted in a week ago Some might say Chelsea Pride had a great man step up and carry an entire league thru an incredible season last yr. Me being one. He did a heck of a job. I can only imagine how he did it, working 2 full time jobs running a league of close to 200 kids and being a hell of a daddy to his children.

From what I’ve heard the first president did alotta wrong all over the place, not paying vendors, rule violations, etc. As far as I know the guy who was Pride’s first president pretty much high tailed it outta there when the stuff hit the fan.

The reason Chelsea Pride got the death penalty was last yr a young man played who shouldn’t have been on The Gladiators Team. Gladiators are the older guys, made up of 7th & 8th graders with a maximum age of 14 when the season starts. I’m not 100% the exact cutoff date.

A league official of another “non profit” football organization in the same community someway somehow had knowledge that a player on The Gladiators was to old to play. This same person sent a pretty detailed email requesting an investigation.

I guess what many have a problem with is how the request was gone about. If you read this email I’m sure you’d understand. In my opinion it was done in a very cunning and spiteful manner. It was very misleading, there was out right misinformation given that would make most shake their heads in disgust. Lastly her closing was “this is truly a bitter sweet email for me to send”

Was somebody bitter? What was sweet?

If you pay attention to the opening of her email it says if this information is found to be true. Well the most alarming claim was proven untrue. One of her claims or requests for an investigation is into serious injury.

” this came to my attention after learning that many players were hurt during the 2011 season after impact from ======== players that required medical attention during games or were unable to finish the season.”

Actual quote from her email. The part with === is actually blacked out in my copy.

She is stating that because of this player playing for Chelsea Pride, players on opposing teams were injured some unable to finish the season.

Funny thing is Gladiators have maybe the best youth football coach out there, he has all his games videotaped. He has them all archived, could probably have a certain goal line situation from Charlestown game last yr playing within 30 seconds if he’s in his film room.

So when this claim was made some took a look back on film, some football minds just had to rewind the mental film to remember. Say maybe the Charlestown game….hmmmm

The one that a Charlestown player got injured. His injury had nothing to do with a player being to big or old. It was a hit delivered by a then 13 yr old 7th grader playing his heart out for his TEAM, Chelsea Pride Gladiators

In the request for an investigation she identified herself multiple times, only as a “parent and an invested community member”

Never leading on that she was pop warner president, acting as if she wasn’t sure what a first down was.

The major concern was that this kid was hurting others because he was to big and to old. That has been proven false.

Let me describe some more of this…

This young man was 14 yrs old at the start of last season, NEC rules 14 yrs old is final yr of play. I’m not sure the exact months & dates that the cut off is. I know 8th grade is also last yr of eligibility.

The player in question was roughly 125-135lbs, not a very big kid. I have a son 14 who’s taller then me and many would say a much better build. I’d say he’s 215 and he’s a solid 215.

As I look around these kids all over the place are growing bigger and bigger.

So the investigation was requested, NECYFL did their own private investigation and came to their conclusion. They handed down an extremely harsh penalty, this season which kickoff was just 2 wks away at that point was now canceled. NECYFL also decided that Chelsea Pride was banned for life, no more league anything. The Death Penalty

NECYFL maybe decided hey these guys have been around for 3yrs and we’ve had more then one problem. I don’t know I’m not on NECYFL’s board of members. I’m not even sure that the decision being made, probably on impulse, was thought all the way thru. I’m not sure the entire situation & story was investigated to its fullest.

I question that because we are talking about a pretty small independent youth league that doesn’t follow up on player injuries that occur during games and seems to be able to dictate how things go. There’s many more flaws in the program, but that’s all programs. There’s no perfect system, nice dream but ain’t there.

The main goal is a good healthy productive youth program.

NECYFL has a rule book and set guidelines in place that are to be followed, and they also get updated from time to time when flaws are exposed.

I think all agree that there’s got to be a penalty for the violation of last season.
NECYFL has a penalty in place for this exact infraction. Which indicates it has happened before somewhere at sometime.

The president is to step down and there is also a $500 fine to be paid to the league. I wonder what exactly that $500 fine would go to, maybe a youth concussion program or some kind of injury follow up program.

The president stepped down and the required cash fine should have been paid.

The 4 Chelsea Pride Football teams and Cheer Squads should be playing out this season.

The other teams of NEC shouldn’t have had to redo their entire season schedule while Pride was forced to cancel theirs.

I’m not sure if there is a real explanation that would make the penalty handed down sound worthy.

Maybe if Sandusky was involved, but it wasn’t anything to that degree. The violation or violations weren’t worthy of having an entire season canceled for 200+ kids and have several communities rearrange their season schedule & miss out on at least 2 regular season games that they were counting on.

There’s rule bending & paper fudges all over the place. I’d like to hear somebody tell me they have been involved in a youth sports program where some rule or rules weren’t overlooked at some point in time.

I can remember a few times just from playing little league baseball in Amesbury or while playing my very 1st yr of youth football in Amesbury MA. I also remember it only costing $1 yes a buck. A man Pudgie who was born and raised in Amesbury funded it all. We used to go to his house where he had the football uniforms and get fitted.

I never once got the impression that cheating was the right thing to do. I learned that sometimes its ok to let things slide.

No harm no follow type attitude I guess you could say. Kinda like letting a kid play football with his peers, the same kids he was going to class with in the 8th grade.

I could go on & on, people hold their kids back because of cut off ages all over the place.

Here’s a real kicker

NECYFL made a rule change this year, starting the 2012 season. It changed its cutoff date.

The player in question that was 14yrs old and in the 8th grade when last season started would be able to play this season. If that ain’t some smelly BS.

I guess the silver lining on this is that a community of all types are pulling together, shoulder to shoulder and standing tall with Pride.

Coach Rob has been working around the clock and has some surrounding towns/cities that said yeah maybe we will play you guys.

Why wouldn’t you wanna play football???

He’s got places showing interest in accepting these dedicated, hard working kids.

Needham has decided that they will jump at the offer to suit up and play. Thats happening this coming Tuesday. The game will be played in Needham.

Some leagues and teams want to come down and pretty much scout Chelsea Pride then make a decision.

Melrose is another town that already said yes let’s play.

Why wouldn’t you wanna play an extra game. The more football these kids play the better.

Some kids who set out this year to play contact football may end up not playing at all, some may end up playing flag football.

Some good things have happened for the cheer leading teams. They are All-Stars. They will be entering more competitions than NECYFL had to offer. Some squads have been combined which has its pros & cons.

My main reason for writing my 1st blog was to do all I could to share that all these kids were being shut out.

I know that this subject has climbed onto talk radio shows, I waited 1 1/2 hrs on 98.5 today. Listened to Cherington’s conference about the mega-trade of Gonzo Beckett Punto & Crawford, then listened to 45 minutes of RedSox talk to get 20 seconds to let people know Chelsea Pride needs help playing games. It’s been written about by reporters and printed on front pages of newspapers. Channel 4 News came down and did a story.

There has been lots of publicity and I’m not sure anyone who was involved in handing down the death penalty to Chelsea Pride thought it would become the story it is.

I don’t think anyone who thought asking the league to investigate instead of addressing Chelsea Pride about the known violation knew this would happen.

Another interesting point is when this investigation was requested much of the bad information reported was coming from a source who was part of the original regime of the first 2 yrs of Chelsea Pride. The same guy who was once part of Pride. Who was known to punish players to the point of injury on at least one occasion. He would make statements like I’ll take pop warner down, soon found himself running to pop warner. The other thing that changed is he started making claims he would single handily take Chelsea Pride down.

Once that was discovered he was no longer welcome to be coaching in Chelsea pop warner, he was also involved in high school football where he’s since been asked to leave, they didn’t want that black cloud he carried.

A volunteer told by 2 organizations your not welcome, within days of each other and a yr after being run out of Pride, WOW…

There’s been many that have trashed the former president of Chelsea Pride for letting this kid play. Sometimes we as humans do the wrong thing for the right reason, I truly believe that. I’ve done it and I’ve seen countless others do it.

Many made it sound like Pride brought in some superstar giant who was 5 yrs older then the rest of the guys. The Gladiators went 8-2 last knocked out of the first round of playoffs. Had a squad of roughly 30 players. He wasn’t needed for on the field, we was needed to be kept out of trouble.

Many say why didn’t he play where he should of? Chelsea doesn’t have a JV team, and he wouldn’t have been in the proper grade to play if they did. He was to young.

It’s final the season is canceled for Chelsea Pride as far as playing NEC games. That doesn’t mean the whole season needs to be a wash.

If people wanna ask what type of program is being run over there in the streets of Chelsea. Come down and check it out. This is what I see..

It’s a growing youth program that has seen its numbers increase each yr it’s been available for kids to play. It’s a program filled with more heart & dedication then most have seen or have on their best day.

Parents are still bringing their kids down to sign up, knowing the possibility of no games being played this year.

There’s roughly 200 kids that were told this season has been canceled and they still show up for practice, even on those days it’s so hot & humid, you make excuses not to leave the air condition, they’re out there getting ready to play football, finally in pads and making contact.

If a thorough investigation has been done into the claim of injuries due to this player being on the field lets see the finding. Let’s see when the follow up to the injury started. I don’t gamble but I’d put my money on NECYFL coming up short there.

Pride admitted it was wrong, a player who would be eligible on the same team this yr under the rule change played last yr, when he wasn’t eligible. Missing the cutoff by less then 60 days.

We need more teams to take advantage of playing some great football, we need more cities and towns to follow the lead of Needham & Melrose.

Chelsea Pride has a Facebook page and a website to contact for scheduling games, practices or scrimmages.

I’ll be more then happy to let you know practice times come take a peak at some really special kids. It’s addicting I’ll warn you now.

I can be reached here or via twitter @bobbyblanco1

Don’t get it twisted the main goal is to see these young men & women learn much more then a sport or cheer. That’s all that is wanted if you wanna help out you got the tools.


CBS Channel 4 News Report

Sunday Boston Globe Story

Chelsea Record NewsPaper Article

Petition Link To Support Chelsea Pride and Youth Sports Everywhere

Chelsea Pride Youth Football & CheerLeading Facebook


This is another follow up/update to what’s happening with Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer.

This has really been a roller coaster ride for all involved, ups & downs but mostly down.

As I mentioned before Chelsea Pride’s president recently stepped down & Pride officials voted in a new president, Jack. Jack is a Chelsea native, I mean Jack has an old Red Devils tattoo on his shoulder from his High School football days, he’s what Chelsea Pride is all about.

Here’s a lil story about Jack, who again is more Chelsea then most would admit. As a young kid Jack was a big boy, probably would have been an offensive lineman & a nose guard on defense. Notice I used would have been? Jack was to big to play pop warner football, he was turned away because of his size. Jack had wanted to play football so badly he probably counted down the days until he’d be able & asked to play high school ball. While playing ball his sophomore yr Jack forever injured his knees. Unable to play football & wanting to participate in any way possible Jack became the team mascot. Here’s where youth football comes into play… Jack attributes his injury to inexperience on the football field. Some may say how does experience prevent an injury? Well when you play football you become aware of your surroundings, you learn how to make tackles in a safe manner, you also learn how to absorb a hit, how to protect yourself. I’m sure you get the picture. It’s like a baby that’s fallen a few times they learn how to put their hands down or brace themselves so their head doesn’t bounce off the ground. Maybe just maybe if Jack had the option to play youth football, he would have learned the game, would have had the same football awareness and skill set of those that had played maybe 5-8 years more then he.

I truly wish folks could move beyond what happened last yr or even the last few weeks & focus all that energy on making the future better. I also believe that Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer continuing to be an organization that teaches children much more then a game or some cheer leading cheers is a benefit to the future of Chelsea as well as all the communities that would add at least 2 games a yr to their schedules as well as increase competition for cheerleaders when entering contests. I guess NEC thinks an error in judgement constitutes all that being taken away. Just doesn’t sound right to me.

Some good has come from this as the girls are now All-Star Cheer Leaders, not that they weren’t already All-Stars but now they are recognized by the All-Star organization. I don’t have a daughter in cheer but do have some good cheer stories coming in my upcoming blogs.

I have to say I’m truly amazed by the hard work & dedication these kids have shown. Imagine being informed that your season has been canceled just 2 weeks prior to your 1st game and still showing up for every practice? How about the news breaking world wide via news papers & internet
& kids are still showing up to register? Yes we lost a couple kids, 4 so far but we’ve signed up 3 new kids, maybe more I know of 3. The newest Chelsea Pride Football player is Allan, he signed up tonight during practice. He is 7 yrs old never played football before and he’s BIG, maybe the lowest body fat percentage on his new team, he’s just a BIG boy. What a great addition he’s going to be, reminded me of Christian Okoye The Nigerian Nightmare. He is a big 7 yr old. I had the pleasure of meeting his father this evening at practice & he was so happy his son was able to play, he had already been told his son was to big for pop warner. I think Allan’s dad might have been having more fun watching then Allan had playing football for the very first time.

Chelsea Pride has been doing all it can to schedule some scrimmages, as the seasons for youth football start in about a week. Here’s one of the things that really makes many question the “concerned citizen” aka CPW president’s motives in requesting an investigation into Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer, the timing. With seasons kicking off in a week or so, jamborees going on everywhere this wknd it was known that Pride would be hard pressed to get into another league. The other thing that really has me steaming & questioning her motives is she made false accusations in her email requesting the investigation. She admitted this after a sit down with a new Pride official. I really haven’t complained much about what she did because I’m a firm believer in don’t do the crime if ya not willing to do the time, my problem is the time is above & beyond the crime, but if the error hadn’t been made she doesn’t have anything to request an investigation about. My other problem is that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, I’m not going to expose any violations CPW has made as it would affect the young men & women who pour their hearts & souls out for that league. I will expose that the Chelsea pop warner pres works for a Chelsea non profit organization that’s supported CPW, made donations to CPW but hasn’t donated a football to Pride. I was under the impression that when a city/town non profit makes a donation they are to make it to all like organizations, if you give to one give to the other. Think that has anything to do with her working for the organization? I do.

Here’s where things have got better, the Gladiators coach has been working his tail off to make sure these kids aren’t left in the dark. He was able to find 4 city/towns that would squeeze Pride in for scrimmage/games this season.

Here’s the problem, none are close by surrounding communities so transporting a couple hundred kids to the other side of the state or even out of state as a New Hampshire team is willing to play Pride is hoing to be hard. Who knows maybe a gaudrian angel will appear with buses, who knows how but we will get every last kid anywhere needed to play or cheer.

During these trying times Chelsea Pride is going thru, many have lost site what youth sports are all about. HINT it’s in the name & it’s not sports. Many have attacked the error of last season saying kids were taught to cheat, a giant was brought in to help the team win and there’s been other remarks that make me wanna shake the sh!t out of the person talking outta the side of their necks. Nobody has taught Pride kids cheating is the way, the issue was hush hush, it wasn’t bragged about, no players were taken aside & told hey we want to bring you back next year to play for the Titans even though your going to be 9 yrs old or any team & age for that matter. The player wasn’t brought in to win games on the football field but he was brought in to be under the watchful eye of some great coaches & mentors while winning in life. He was taken in by somebody who cares enough about the kids of Chelsea to put his own neck on the line, and that’s what was thought. The penalty for the error made last year under NEC rules which is the league Chelsea Pride used to belong to is a $500 fine & president steps down, I’d take that fine & penalty any day to save a kids life. I’d also like to let people know he was 2 months past the age cut off, playing against his peers, he wasn’t some 18 19 yr old who dominated the league, he didn’t hurt any opposing players like the fabricated story. Many people have said the whole story isn’t being told, what more is to tell? A young man played when he shouldn’t have, somebody outside of Chelsea Pride knew about, knew last year about it while it was going on yet chose to request an investigation once her numbers dropped, chose to do this weeks before the season started. Was this in hopes that some Pride kids would switch? I don’t know her true motives but I can speculate and her email followed by admitting her statement he injured players was false doesn’t support her claim that she was concerned for the well being of kids playing for & against Pride. Something I found funny was her statement that she hadn’t slept since this all came out & her reason for a lack of sleep which was BS, she hasn’t slept because when you intentionally harm somebody or something it’s hard to sit with yourself, never mind when you attack an entire organization affecting hundreds of kids in your own community, I bet it’s hard to sleep as well as look in the mirror.

I know from experience when one door closes several open it’s just a matter of what you make of what’s on the other side of that door, I also know sometimes you find yourself stuck in the hallway trying multiple doors. That’s just what’s happening now Chelsea Pride is in the hall knocking on doors ringing phones writing letters all in hope of these kids playing some football & cheerleading. If your doors open or you have the key to an open door let Chelsea Pride know.

I can be reached on twitter @bobbyblanco1 or you can contact Chelsea Pride via Facebook!/chelsea.pride.54?v=info&__user=1330421304


We Are Standing Tall With Pride

Posted: August 16, 2012 in family, sports

I’m writing to give a small update about what has transpired in the days since the Chelsea Pop Warner president requested an investigation into Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer…

If your wondering what’s this all about read my previous blogs otherwise settle in and get ready to help….

Since the request for an investigation by CPW, the youth football league Chelsea Pride was a part of has decided Chelsea Pride is no longer part it, that leaves hundreds of kids kicking rocks maybe slinging rocks for the summer.

That is unless we can all come together and put together a last minute life saving season for these dedicated kids. There are 4 squads that are finally getting their pads and are buzzing around dying to play some good old American football.

Let me describe some of the background issues at hand here.

Most importantly is the well being of all these young men & young women. If your not familiar with Chelsea take a ride through Bellingham Square, I don’t care what time you decide to do this I promise you you’ll witness jaw dropping activity. I’m talking everything from drug transactions, drug use, prostitution, gang activity and these are the problems directly in these kids faces. These young men growing up in the inner city are always targets, as are the young women. Many of these kids come from broken homes, low income homes and see the older crews sporting the big gold chains driving the nice cars with big rims. Flashing rolls of money that many kids dream of having. It’s no secret how these flashy things are obtain, through drugs & sex. The hand to hand transactions that happen like its ok in the Bellingham Square area will have you asking how & why. Once the sun goes down and dusk sets in the movement triples maybe quadruples and the women of the evening start to appear. The man making the most profit off all these activities probably drives through a few times to see how business is and to see if any new “employees” are around. That’s what I mean when I say these kids are targeted. They get propositioned to make a little extra money make a few quick moves, all it takes is one & your hooked. The same goes for the young ladies but they are also propositioned to “dance” which really becomes prostitution.

This is the type of stuff waiting for these young men & young women without Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer.

Many people say well there’s CPW, well many of these kids aren’t “qualified” to play Pop Warner Football. Some are considered to small and some are considered to big. That’s the great thing about Youth Football, that huge kid who is going to be begged by his high school football coach to play wouldn’t know the first thing about how to play if it was just PW out there, instead he’s able to learn the fundamentals of football while becoming a great young man, being accepted by Youth Football. What about the young ladies? There’s no size restriction for cheerleaders. Well if they wanted to participate in PW that’s where they’d be, there’s a reason why kids & families are walking away from Pop Warner & playing Youth instead.

Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer has decided that laying down isn’t in the cards. Being notified 2 weeks prior to the season opener that there is no longer a season doesn’t work, not for this community. We will have a football season & we will continue to grow as an organization that’s much more than football & cheer, Chelsea Pride is a community coming together as one as one big happy family.

Chelsea Pride along with the rest of our former league already had the season set up, fields have been reserved, family vacations rearranged, extended family flying in for particular games from around the world not just around the state or country, I’m telling you this death penalty over errant paper work is affecting the world.

Chelsea Pride officials begged for the right to finish this season and look for another league to join for next year, what’s the harm in that?

Here’s a little more background issues that Pride has overcome just as they will overcome this last obstacle.

Chelsea Pride was started a few years back by a few natives of Chelsea, thing is money brings out evil in many, brings out greed, brings out dishonesty and with all that some head officials were miss using funds, not paying vendors, skimming off the top. When all this came to light there really wasn’t anyone to lead this great group so a gentleman who was equipment manager became president by default. Last year was his first season, imagine working 2 sometimes 3 jobs, being a great dad to your own children, then trying to manage and save a youth program that was on the ropes from previous mishandling. Every move was under a magnifying glass, and there was an error. Instead of bringing this error to the attention of Chelsea Pride the Chelsea Pop Warner President went directly to the head league officials, knowing the past issues Pride overcame, knowing that Pride was on thin ice. She sent an email describing herself as a concerned citizen, never blowing her cover as President of CPW, then ended the email with “this is bitter sweet”. Just dawned on me what has this concerned citizen done to try & help these kids who are now without a football season or league?

What is bitter sweet about this situation? Did she think this would be the end of Chelsea Pride? Funny thing is when things like this happen 9 out of 10 times once the obstacle is overcome the bond becomes stronger, Chelsea Pride isn’t going nowhere, that’s a promise.

Chelsea Pride admitted there was an error and also promised to do everything possible to make sure an error like this never happens again. League officials agreed it wouldn’t happen again by giving Pride the death penalty. Along with Pride admitting there was an error the President stepped down and a new President has been voted in. Still the league says no games for the kids.

What to do what to do…

Chelsea has permits to play, Chelsea has fields secured to play, Chelsea has 4 football squads ready to play, Chelsea has 4 cheer leading squads ready to jump flip twist twirl and cheer on their men suited up to play the greatest sport in the world.

Thing is Chelsea doesn’t have anyone to play, if that ain’t a shame I don’t know what is.

If your asking yourself how can this happen, join the club. If your asking what can I do to help the cause, join the club and spread the word…..




If your involved in youth football or know somebody spread the word, let’s get these kids playing. I know when I played football if my coach said we had an extra game to play I would of been excited so let’s bring that excitement to these kids who are out on the practice field giving their all waiting to play the sport they love so very much the sport we all love to watch & cheer so very much AMERICAN FOOTBALL!!!

I’ll never forget running down the sidelines last year against Beverly as my son broke a run to the outside and sprinted 75 yards for a touchdown, I was running right along side him tears of joy running down my cheeks screaming GO GO GOOOOOO!!!

Please sign the petition to save Chelsea Pride

If you know of any willing contestants please contact me here or on twitter @bobbyblanco1 or you can contact Chelsea Pride through Facebook @


Ever heard of the cinnamon challenge? Well that’s how this all began and some good old fashioned youth football…

I was doing my usual twitter patrol checking out some athletes I follow when I read a tweet by Brandon Deaderick. His tweet was anyone who sends him their cinnamon challenge video he would pay that person himself. Not knowing what the cinnamon challenge was and loving money I quickly did a search on YouTube.

WOW!!!!! Is all I could say after watching a couple videos.

I responded to Brandon’s tweet with how much you willing to pay?

He responded an autograph football sound good?

I’m thinking an autographed football sound good??? Well of course I’d eat some cinnamon for an autographed ball by a young up & coming defensive lineman of the New England Patriots.

So as the talk around my home began to be primarily about this cinnamon challenge my then 8yr old son starts to ask if he could be the one to do this challenge.

I thought about it long and hard and all I could imagine is this video of my son going viral and child services catches wind of it and my family comes under scrutiny, I was very hesitant. We had several discussions within our home. After going back & forth with my son he said he had already preformed this cinnamon challenge with some friends at camp.

I wasn’t sure how Brandon would feel about this lil guy doing the video, would he be entertained? Would he still give the autographed ball? Along with the worry for my sons well being.

We decided to make a short video of Zach asking if he could do the challenge and Brandon responded to our video and said Zach doing it would be fine.

We prepped the kitchen cleared memory on my iPhone to video this event and it was action time.

Zach took a table spoon of pure ground cinnamon and dumped it into his mouth, not even a second later a big cough followed by a big brown cloud. Myself, my finance and Zach’s younger brother were all in stitches over the reaction. Zach eventually got the entire spoonful in and it was both hilarious and concerning watching him dance around yelling coughing and burning up.

After taking care of Zach & cleaning up the mess we sent Zach’s challenge video to YouTube then tweeted a link to Brandon.

He responded almost immediately saying Zach’s video of the challenge was worthy of an autographed football. In Brandon’s response he also asked for our home address so he could send Zach the ball.

Zach being a youth football player was in shock, almost to the point of disbelief that he was going to be the proud owner of an autographed ball by a New England Patriots player. Getting involved made Zach curious about who Brandon Deaderick was so I showed him some pics & he read his bio, suddenly Zach is even more excited, yelling dad DAD come here look look…. Zach & Brandon both wore #71

Zach was so excited and grateful that he asked me, dad can I make a video thanking Deaderick for picking me? Sure let’s do it buddy was my response, feeling all the more proud that my son thought enough to want to thank Brandon.

To our surprise Brandon’s response to Zach’s thank you video was it’s going to be awhile before the ball arrives due to the fact it was the off season and players weren’t around. WHAT!!! The team isn’t around??? That meant he planned on having more then his signature on the ball. He also said that in the mean time he’d get Zach something.

Here’s where being a patient parent comes in. Daily sometimes hourly Zach asks if the mail has come, dad can I check the mail? Dad did Brandon tweet you? Zach now has a new found friendship with our regular mailman. Everyone Zach meets for the foreseeable future learns of Zach doing the challenge and also gets his story of being long time pals of Brandon Deaderick.

Maybe 2 weeks pass and I find out Brandon is doing an autograph signing. Having met several Patriots and other Boston area athletes as a kid plus the cinnamon challenge connection I thought would better time to create a great memory for Zach & I.

I had kept it a secret as long as possible from Zach that we had plans to actually meet his new best friend that just happens to be a New England Patriot. I just couldn’t handle the daily mail question followed by are we meeting Brandon tomorrow?

I did how ever notify Brandon via twitter, actually I think I warned him about Zach being in attendance at the autograph show. To an 8 yr old a couple weeks might as well be years, Zach was thinking he would never see the autographed ball.

We got to the Deaderick signing about an hour early figuring we’d try and be first to meet him. While waiting in line Zach hears a store employee mention Brandon will be entering through the back door of the store, behind the table where the autographs will be signed and pics taken. He now informs me I’m going to wait for Brandon at the back door and I’m gonna ask him where my ball is. He’s locked and loaded on that back door, arms folded with a wide tough guy type stance. I’m waiting in line by the front door, maybe the eighth person in line.

Brandon ends up entering the front door where I’m in line, not through the back. Thank god for him he missed the lecture Zach had in store for him. While being in awe of the size of Deaderick I notice him carrying a pair of used cleats. Ever have one of those gut wrenching feelings? I say to myself he’s giving those to Zach. Then I start to doubt my feeling, I also know how excited Zach is I’m getting concerned about how Brandon is gonna receive Zach. Is Zach really gonna give this guy a hard time about not getting a ball yet? It’s only been a few weeks since he did the challenge.

Brandon makes his way to the table, Zach is standing behind the table still arms folded mean mugging this back door with his tough guy stance. The line starts moving and I’m getting concerned Zach is gonna miss meeting his new best friend. Suddenly I feel a nudge and see Zach looking at me like I just stole his lunch money….. Why didn’t you tell me Brandon was here dad? I didn’t want to get out of line to grab him plus Brandon was signing autographs almost bumping elbows with Zach, but being so focused on that back door he had no idea what was happening right behind him.

It’s now our turn to meet Brandon. Zach has no idea he walked in carrying the cleats, they are tucked under the table out if sight. NEXT!!! I nudge Zach to go ahead I stayed back to click pics.

Brandon jumps up out of his chair shakes Zach’s hand and starts small talk with him. I’m taking pics enjoying the glory my son is enjoying. Then he reached under the table and pulled out the kicks. Zach lights up like a Christmas tree as do I. Mind you it was $15 per auto, they provided really nice 8X10 that Deaderick personally signed while you met him and got a quick pic. Usually under 60 seconds at the table. Zach gets his shirt signed, the pic, the cleats, there making small talk, the store hosting the signing is taking pics of this lucky fan who just got a pair of game used autographed cleats. The long line behind me starts getting a lil impatient, I hear somebody moaning c’mon get the kid outta there. It truly seemed Brandon was having as much fun as Zach was. I wanted an autograph & my pic with him to, shoot I’m a die hard Pats fan, so these unhappy folks are going to have to wait a wee bit longer.

This all took place inside Rosters in the Providence Place Mall. Zach wanted to walk the mall plus we were hungry so I figured we’d check out the food court. While riding the escalator I hear babble coming from Zach behind me as I turn around there’s a kid about 7 foot 6 listening to Zach talk in fast forward holding his Rosters bag wide open showing his new treasure from his old friend Brandon Deaderick. Everyone we passed at the mall was shown the cleats, along with a high speed story of how this all started, cinnamon challenge to present moment. For a short while Zach was actually walking the mall wearing Deaderick’s shoes, that was a sight. Zach is a lean shredded lil guy, the cleats were almost the same length of his legs. Nobody missed the kid stumbling around in huge clown looking shoes.

On our way out we had to walk back by the store. The signing had about a half hour left and Zach wanted to stop back by. I’m thinking god no, please spare this guy Zach chewing his ear off for the next half hour. Thinking he’d be to shy or timid to go in alone I tell him no I don’t feel like it let’s just go, he says can I go alone. I tell him we will check it out, if there’s a bunch of people no. To my surprise the guy taking the pics and Brandon are sitting there talking. Dad DAD there’s nobody in there c’mon let’s go… Nope you can go alone if you’d like I’ll wait here in the walkway outside the store. I figure I’ll have to put him in a straight jacket to get him out of there, but in just a few short moments he comes running out all smiles, ear to ear and tells me Brandon said he’s still gonna send me the autographed ball. WHAT!!!! YOU ASKED HIM THAT AFTER HE BROUGHT YOU THOSE SHOES??? I was heated to say the least. He tells me he didn’t exactly ask, but said are these cleats instead of the ball? I guess Brandon said he was still getting the ball.

Zach was on this natural high for weeks after our great day. He told everyone the story, kids at school, the lil old lady squeezing heads of lettuce in the produce area of the super market, I mean everyone. He still shares the story but now he’s learned not everyone likes stories about football so whenever he sees somebody sporting any Patriots gear he shares his story about him and his great old buddy Brandon Deaderick.

I shared this story for multiple reasons, but I think mainly because my sons football season is currently at risk of being canceled, no I’m sorry his 2012 season has been canceled along with about 200 other kids season.

See without my son playing for the Chelsea Pride Youth Football Titans this story, this day maybe never happens.

Would he have had the interest in meeting a football player if he wasn’t playing himself? I never played hockey could careless about meeting a professional hockey player. He wouldn’t have worn jersey number 71 last year, the same number worn by Brandon Deaderick.

The other reason I shared this is to show that many athletes are much more then what we see on television, in the media and who we perceive them to be. I really didn’t expect much more then a quick pic and autograph, never imagined Deaderick would create such a great moment in my son’s life and mine. I never imagined he would be so personal with Zach, shoot I wasn’t sure he’d know who he was.

But again this ever lasting memory & story, in my eyes never happens without Chelsea Youth Football & Cheer. Let’s keep creating those moments that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you know those goose bumps of joy & happiness. Please help & support Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer. If you’d like to find out more on how you could get involved with saving the season along with saving many young men & women from hanging on the block you can contact me or check out Chelsea Pride on Facebook. I can be contacted through responses here or my twitter @bobbyblanco1


Please sign the petition to save Chelsea Pride

This is my very 1st blog & after what I experienced today I thought what better to write about. I’ve also decided to make this a wkly maybe daily blog depending on how this unfolds Hopefully I’m able to write about great football games being played by some great young men and about some wonderful young ladies who cheer these young men on, it’s what we call CHELSEA PRIDE FOOTBALL & CHEER

I went to my 9yr olds football practice today & all parents & family members were asked to please have a seat in the bleachers. Some people knew about the secret some this was going to be a huge shocker and complete devastation.

Chelsea Pride Youth Football & Cheer have been told they are no longer part of which is the area Youth Football Head. Yes these folks have decided that giving the entire Chelsea Youth Football & Cheer organization the death penalty is the proper punishment for some errant paperwork last season.

Here’s the story if you care to read it…

Last season a troubled youth known in the area was to old to play, in an effort to get this young man off the streets, any way possible, getting an extra season of eligibility & staying on the straight & narrow his errant paper work was over looked.

This young man was a great teammate, keep his nose clean the entire season, worked his butt off in every area of his life. Playing football being a productive member of his community was all that mattered to this child. He was taking out of harms way, taking out of the survive at all means necessary life style and was living a happy life putting smiles on his family members faces who had frowned so many times prior.

The entire 2011 season came & went, Chelsea Pride Football had a great turn out this season for sign ups, last yr games were forfeited due to lack of players. This yr teams have better numbers, not great but enough to put together some great squads & have a super fun filled season.

Well Chelsea Pop Warner, another non profit organization doesn’t have the numbers it’s used too. Let me clear up something, youth football teaches all kids the fundamentals of football, pop warner has many restrictions. Many kids who play for Chelsea Pride wouldn’t meet the height/weight requirements.

Suddenly the Chelsea Pop Warner President sees it necessary to report this errant paper work that she knew about last season. Who knows she may have known about it before the 1st game of last season. Let me remind you last season pop warner didn’t see their numbers dip much. If the president really was concerned for the BS reasons she has stated why didn’t she report it last season.

Here’s another interesting fact, a few years back Chelsea Pride Youth Football was run by a guy who embezzled money, stole tons of money, ripped off majority of the vendors he dealt with, this stand up role model is now coaching for this pop warner president who is so concerned about the kids.

When became aware of the errant paper work of last year they immediately suspended all Chelsea Youth Football & Cheer. Not suspension like last seasons games have to be forfeited, not a probationary term, nope Chelsea Youth Pride Football & Cheer got the death penalty.

I’m all for punishment when there’s violations. I also believe that punishment should fit the crime.

Should multiple football teams & multiple cheer leading squads get axed 2 weeks before opening day? Should literally hundreds of kids miss an entire season of football & cheer? Should parents be out hundreds of dollars on equipment they bought for this upcoming season? Should the rest of the league have to rearrange their schedules now? Should the kids of Beverly & Lynn along with all the cities & towns Chelsea Pride plays this season have to miss out?

There’s no doubt that some sort of action needs to be taken but turning all these kids dreams into nightmares, legit for some kids. I played football all my life, I help out with whatever coaches need me to do. Some of these kids don’t want to go home, some of these kids die to be out of the chaos they live in and on the football field. Some of these parents have dropped their kids off and said you gotta feed him he hasn’t eaten today. Some of these kids need Chelsea Youth Football to stay out of the streets & out of jail or DYS lock up.

There needs to be another way besides ending an entire football organization for breaking rules in the journey of saving a young man’s life. Down south this happens regularly, kids are kept back in school to play an extra year of football.

The young man who was basically an honor citizen while under the watchful eye of so many mentors in the Chelsea Youth Football organization was incarcerated a short time after football season ended last year. Many will say the streets got em. Maybe so but it’s never to late to save a life and it’s never a good time to kill a football & cheer program and turn kids to the streets.

I may have shared this in a bias manner but I’m deeply involved and truly enjoy seeing young boys become young men while learning how to play football. I just wanna see Chelsea Pride Football & Cheer continue to be a success and watch it grow.




North East Conference Youth Football League