What would you do if you were chosen third overall by the Buffalo Bills, but found yourself in the midst of the NFL lockout before you even started? If your name was Marcell Dareus, you hopped on a John Deere tractor and worked everyday in the blistering Alabama sun. If it weren’t for the NFL work stoppage, Dareus would have probably been making millions of dollars. Instead, he relied on cutting grass with his godfather to make money until he could begin his lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.
Dareus, a 300-pound NFL lineman, was appointed to keep nearly every lawn on his street in pristine condition. He worked under the supervision of his godfather, Lester “Sarge” Reasor, a retired drill sergeant who barely rises to Dareus’ giant forearms. Reasor worked Dareus hard, pointing to patches of grass and saying things like, “This could have been edged up a little better right here.” The very first thing Reasor had Dareus do each morning was clean off his John Deere tractor.
The NFL lockout has now ended, with the player’s association executive board having approved a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on July 25, 2011. With this news, Dareus is now back with the Buffalo Bills fulfilling his dreams, but he’s surely enjoyed the time he’s put in on his shiny green John Deere tractor.