Clayton Holmes' Long, Hard Fall

Categories: Sports

No doubt Cowboys fans will recall the name Clayton Holmes; he was, after all, on those Dallas teams that won three Super Bowl rings in the 1990s -- a defensive back and special-teams whiz, a third-round draft pick who played like a first-rounder. "As far as the guys I played with in my 13-year career," says former teammate Darren Woodson, "I'd put him in my top four as far as pure athletic ability. He could do anything. Everything."

Woodson's quote comes from Jeff Pearlman's heartbreaking profile of Holmes, which appears today on Page 2 at ESPN.com. As it happens, Holmes has fallen off the face of the earth and landed back in his hometown of Florence, South Carolina -- living in "a decrepit shack in the front yard of his mother's trailer," writes Pearlman.

As Holmes puts it, he's become nothing more than a "fuck-up," as in: "It's hard being the f---up. I'm not just saying that. Everyone here sees me as the f---up, as the guy who made it to the NFL and made a huge mistake. I'm the f---up to my mom, I'm the f---up to my dad, I'm the f---up to my family …" He has also traded his white Mercedes 560 SEC for a red bike he rides every day through the east side of Florence -- "a downtrodden section of a downtrodden city littered by double-wide trailers, wayward drug dealers and the shattered Budweiser bottles, used condoms, McDonald's wrappers and crumpled newspapers that seem to pock each dirt road and cement walkway." It's actually hurts to read the story. --Robert Wilonsky


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35 comments
Cassie
Cassie

That's my dad. I only wish I knew him.

Ladygee3132
Ladygee3132

i wished he would have never come back here becouse that is florence sc for you like to see you down i try to please every one working two and three jobs but when the money go thats it

joy
joy

If i was clayton i would make a movie or write a book bout his life, cash out and laugh to the bank. Fuck the author who wrote this story. u are smart clayton, keep ur faith and stay strog. xoxo heather

joy
joy

i remember u brian cuz i hung with velvet back in the day. clayton was a good guy, velvet when ii knew her ws awsoe. i have one of claytons superbowl trophyswith his name on it that i bought and still have to this day. if anyone nows how to get ahold of velvet email e at heathe7736@aol.com thanks

Adam Crysel
Adam Crysel

Hello everyone,

My name is Adam and I am from Florence, SC. Clayton and I are good friends and I feel it is my duty to defend him and my city. It is true the East side of Florence is unfortunately rundown, however the douche bag reporter "Jeff Pearlman" who is responsible for this story blew things way out of proportion. Clayton and I have known each other for about four years and we went to the same highschool. Clayton is a good man who has made poor decisions in his past and they have come back to haunt him. But I would like it to be understood that he is very generous and a great friend who would gladly give you the shirt off his back. I am extremely sorry that such misfortune has befallen Clayton and I wish him the best as he tries to improve the quality of his life. As for Florence itself, Pearlman gave it a grossly unfair description. Florence is a growing town which has seen increasingly more prosperity in the last ten years and will hopefully continue to grow in the future. If Pearlman had taken an extra two hours to see the rest of Florence he wouldn't have written the libel he did about my city. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read my post and fuck Jeff Pearlman

Rick Scala
Rick Scala

Hang in there Clayton your time is coming. You will rise again and use your past football history to teach other's what not to do when they earn a great deal of money.

You will also get the opportunity to work towards the goal of launching the "Give Them Hope Foundation".

You will touch the heart's and mind's of a great deal of less fortunate families, as well as those that earn a great deal of income and do not know how to properly manage it.

You will be known as the one that went from Benz to Bike and back to giving to the people that deserve another chance. Your new lifestyle may not need a Benz but will need a form of transportation necessary to travel as a motivational speaker and give hope to those that are at the point of giving up hope.

You will known as a person that changed the lives of a GREAT deal of people by sharing your life experience with them.

GOOD LUCK !!!!

Rick Scala

brian johnson
brian johnson

Hey guys I knew Clayton since he was a rookie and washed and drove his cars,,acually I washed all the Dallas Cowboys cars since 1989-1997.Clayton was one of the nicest guys ever,,I had some hard times and he even let me stay upstairs at his house for 9 months then he helped me get a place,,,so he is a real caring person,,,He also gave me a pitbull that we got for him that recently passed away due to old age,,,I would like to talk to him if anyone has a # or address please email,,,thanks Brian Johnson

tourret phil
tourret phil

Keep up Clayton....we think of you Your friend and family from FrancePhil, glenda, Lolo, Emma..and morgan

Bildo
Bildo

I have to agree with POV. These guys are worse than $30K millionaires, because THEY ARE FUCKING MILLIONAIRES!

Ok, sorry about the yelling.

These guys make more money per season than most of the people posting on this blog will make over the next 20 years combined. If they aren't smart enough to hang on to a little of it, then that is just social Darwinism at work.

Born Again Vaginally Sliced Ch
Born Again Vaginally Sliced Ch

A million these days is "nothing" at that level. I mean, you get the house and a couple of cars and you may have half a million left.

Add in clothes, partying and whatever he is lucky it lasted as long as it did.

Also, you know those guys are trying to "keep up" with the Jones' (on their team) as well.

Sorry Clayton!! You are a "fuck-up"!!

El Rey
El Rey

I think I started a shitstorm with that comment about mandatory classes...

OK, for POV and people that agree with him:Any player entering the NFL should be forced to take a wealth management course if they do not already come from a wealthy family. Basic parenting skills classes are optional, but vasectomies are mandatory until the class is taken. Before you complain, these guys are apparently wealthy enough to pay to get the reversal surgery or to adopt.

Let me end with a quote I Googled from Chuck Gallozi:"You can never enter the mind, heart, and body of another, so you are unaware of the reasons for their failures. Not everyone is as ready as you are to change. That's why it is written in the Talmud (Rabbinical writings of the 1 ~ 6 centuries AD), "A man may not be responsible for his actions in an hour of tribulation and pain."

On the other hand, if you are racked with pain, saddled with poverty, or deprived of other blessings most take for granted, use your experience to have compassion for those who are even worst off than you, but do not use your burdens as excuses to remain in a negative frame of mind. You have enough problems already; don't add to them by endlessly complaining, for that only entrenches them deeper into your life. Rather, look for the good, appreciate it, and take responsibility by making the most of what you have. Happiness is a choice, just like misery is; we all have the responsibility to make the right choices. We owe it to ourselves to do so."

knottygirl
knottygirl

jay said: "for those who cry over this, give me a break. He had it all and pissed it away. There are alot of others out there to cry over."

Hey, dude, I already said I was a liberal nanny-type. We cry a lot. Hell, I cry every year when the Grinch realizes that Christmas doesn't come from a store. (I so wish I were making that up, but I am not.)

I still think it's sad that he dragged himself out of that hellish childhood and then got dragged back down. Think about it--if you got a million dollars, would your parents, siblings, cousins, friends, etc., all be breathing down your neck with their hands out? I can guarantee you that mine wouldn't. We all have college degrees, homes, nice families, jobs and we're doing all right as it is. If someone close to me hit it rich, I would be happy for him/her. I wouldn't view him/her as my new means of support, and I would gnaw my hand off before I asked for a handout unless it were a true emergency, in which case it would be a loan with an official legal note with payback term and interest.

Sure the guy did some stupid things with his money (strippers? drugs? Why can't it be elephants, health foods, or donating to cancer research that bankrupted these youngsters just once?), but he might have paid for a decent rehab program if he hadn't been coughing up money for the hangers-on and had had a nice normal family to straighten him out.

jay
jay

for those who cry over this, give me a break. He had it all and pissed it away. There are alot of others out there to cry over.

religion of bacon
religion of bacon

It's ok POV -- we don't blame you for not wanting to talk about your brother.

huggy
huggy

"I said my wife and I make OVER a six figure income."

No, you said you and your wife made over $100K.

"Where I went to school, that would be $100,000 - $999,999."

As expected, you went to a terrible school. The statement that you and wife make "over $100k" could encompass any income figure above $100k; there need not be a "$999,999" limit. Of course, there is an implied limit, but that limit is not $999,999. By using $100k (instead of $200k, or even $150k or $125k), you've given us all a pretty good idea of your combined income.

POV
POV

Hey Nimrods,

You wanna talk $$$...

I said my wife and I make OVER a six figure income.

Where I went to school, that would be $100,000 - $999,999.

It's all good...I'll let you wash my Hummer and my G37.

Make sure the rims are nice and shiny!!!

-POV

jack
jack

POV, thats only $50k per person, which isnt anything to brag about. I would be embarrassed to even admit that. Why dont you cut out the trips to starbucks and put that money in your kids college fund.

lawya
lawya

The law firm that started me out at $160k made me take a money management course, and I've been handling my own finances since I was a teenager.

Regardless of whether you think the players need it or whether you "feel sorry" for them (completely beside the point), courses like that make good business sense.

Broke or struggling employees are usually shitty employees.

In other words, POV is a moron. No wonder he needs his wife to scrape together six figures.

religion of bacon
religion of bacon

Anyway, I just dont feel sorry for these guys.

They have the world by the balls, man.

POV, I started reading that story with the exact same attitude. But did you grow up with your parents shooting each other, beating you up, and your brother sodomizing you at night? What are the odds that anyone with that kind of seriously damaged background, followed by instant fame and fortune, wouldn't end up as a sad fuckup?

John Nice Guy
John Nice Guy

Um, POV? The "most stupidest thing [you] have ever heard" has already been adopted by the NFL. It's called the Rookie Symposium, and it's been going on for 10 years now.

But you're probably right. After all, the NFL is incredibly stupid. It probably doesn't even pull in $100k a year!

knottygirl
knottygirl

I guess I'm a liberal nanny, but I wish El Rey could persuade the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. to make those classes mandatory. Heck, I wish they were mandatory for everyone. I have a friend who makes $100-200k a year and she can't manage money worth a darn. If she is ever visited by chronic illness and can't work, them plates is gonna stop spinning and crash everywhere.

My parents came from real poverty (though they didn't know they were poor) and I feel like a zillionaire for being able to afford clothes and toys and a good preschool for Knottybaby without having to cut back elsewhere. It's all in how you were taught as a child, and poor Mr. Holmes was taught some really crummy lessons.

POV
POV

Curtis,

That is all these guys are about - the money.

There is no "love of the game". Men getting paid to play a boy's game.

As far as my background, I wasnt bragging. I was making a statement. Trust me, six figures doesnt go as far as you think after you pull all the bills & trips to Starbucks, you pretty much are broke like the other $30k millionaires in here.

OK, that was supposed to be funny...

Anyway, I just dont feel sorry for these guys.

They have the world by the balls, man.

Curtis
Curtis

POV,

Did you and your wife come from extreme poverty, and then start making $100K (braggart) overnight, and get hit up by every family member and friend you know for money?

I can't imagine what these guys go through when a heap of cash is laid at their feet. Yeah, I barely make a fourth of what you and your wife pull home, but I know if I were a 23-year-old kid just coming out of college with a similar background to Holmes, I would want some financial guidance.

POV
POV

Oh WAAAAAAH!!

He was one of the "poorer" atheletes. A million dont last the way these guys live.

"the NFL should make all new players take money management courses and parenting classes."

Are you serious? That was the most stupidest thing I have ever heard.

My wife and I make over $100k a year and have a child. Should we go to a class to on how to live within our means and not do drugs and screw whores?

PLEASE...

-POV

KSK
KSK

planning a potential move to Washington, D.C., where he wants to immerse himself in Scientology

This will cement his position as a fuckup.

RHiNO
RHiNO

Wonder if he knows Greggo?

El Rey
El Rey

Pearlman knows how to dig up the great stories.

I feel for the guy, it gives you a sense of what happens to so many of these athletes and celebrities. I know this sounds extremely liberal and nannylike, but the NFL should make all new players take money management courses and parenting classes.

knottygirl
knottygirl

I don't remember him at all, but I still cried reading that story. Good heavens, what a sad tale. I would love to whack his harpy of a mother upside the head, but she'd probably shoot me.

religion of bacon
religion of bacon

planning a potential move to Washington, D.C., where he wants to immerse himself in Scientology

Somebody stop him, quick.

Yeah, that was an incredibly sad story.

Born Again Vaginally Sliced Ch
Born Again Vaginally Sliced Ch

Hope the bike at least came with a "toot toot" horn.

I would have thrown in an air pump and an extra inner tube.

Wished he would have called me...

Mistamann2006
Mistamann2006

Cassie... How are you?... I'm "Mann".. Your dad's 1st cousin. We grew up together. Truely, it's a father's duty to share understanding with his children. That is very important. I'm not one to justify on his behalf for you not knowing him, but I will say... Your dad has love for you as he has with all his children. We often talked about.. It has been over a year since I've spoken with him, and the kid, my cousin, good friend, we competed but a true talent that he just toyed with me and all our peers, has been through burdens that he kept to himself up to his manhood.... Sadly it may take the same length of time for him to heal.. I am most confident that he will win, as we met up at University of Chattanooga assured me while he opened his wounds to hundreds who was willing to hear his testimony. I admired his bravery. I asked myself, what would I have done if it was me.

angela
angela

thank you home boy

angela burnette
angela burnette

brian im angela when you fine clayton please email me im in facebook i had his address in D,C i will look for it im from his home town florence s,c thanks angela burnette

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