Some of the folks who cover UW athletics just got a chance to talk with linebacker Dan Howell for the first time since he returned from attending his father's funeral. I'll have a note in tomorrow's paper, but Howell is so well-spoken that most of these amazing quotes had to be left out.
I wanted to share them here:
ON GETTING THE NEWS
"I got a call from my mom just before the Oklahoma game saying Dad was having a little bit of trouble, but he was going to be all right. I even got a call I think on that Sunday morning, and she was like "yeah, he's going to be all right; he's going to make it through.' And then I got out of meetings on Sunday night and my brother gave me a call: 'Dad didn't make it.'"
ON ATTENDING THE FUNERAL
"I would have walked home that night if I was able to. ... I didn't want to miss the Fresno State game, but family business comes first. And we held it down anyway, I'm proud of the guys for finding a way to win."
ON RETURNING TO SEATTLE:
"I came down here with a lot of confidence, a lot of fire, because I have a lot on my mind. A lot of motivation. But it's tough because I can't call home to Pops anymore. It's like reality is setting in. When you leave home and you don't have that constant family interaction, it kind of sets in on you. It's like "Christmas is not going to be with Pops anymore," and everything. Like normally when I call home, my dad is usually the one who picks up because my mom is usually running around helping with the little at-home business type things, so he's usually the first one who picks up. And when I called home it was like I knew I was going to hear my mom's voice, but kind of a part of me expected my dad's."
ON HIS FATHER
"My dad was a calm cat. He never overracted. He never raised his voice - unless it was really bad. He always remained calm and was always chilled, so keeping him in my mind in some shape or form keeps me part of that."
ON TYRONE WILLINGHAM REMINDING HIM OF HIS FATHER
"They think alike, act alike, they believe in the same things. It amazing. But when you think about it, all godly men tend to think the same way and tend to act the same way because they believe in the same concept that they all follow and live their life by. They could have been brothers, they could have been best friends. There's a lot of similarities between my father and Coach Willingham, and it's good to see that. It's a good reminder that there are a lot of good people out there who have got your back."
ON HIS GRIEF
"If I couldn't handle it, God wouldn't let it happen. I believe in his word it says, he'll never give you anything greater than what you're able to handle, and if I couldn't handle this, I believe he would have waited a little while. But 20 years is all I needed with my father, 20 years is all I needed to learn, and 20 years is what I'll use to keep myself going forward and myself staying focused."
AND FINALLY, ON A LIGHTER NOTE, ON WHY HE WAS LIMPING
"I limp not because I'm hurt. I limp because after a while of playing football you just find an easier way to walk."