The emotion retired defensive tackle D'Marco Farr showed for his former St. Louis Rams teammate, Isaac Bruce, came through Wednesday during the ceremony retiring Bruce's No. 80. Farr nearly broke down while introducing Bruce at Rams headquarters.
I thought Rams fans and Bruce admirers would appreciate this comment from Farr:
If you’re lucky enough to play this game, and then to make it to this level, to the NFL, you’re going to meet your heroes. You’re going to meet your Emmitt Smiths, you’re going meet your Troy Aikmans, whoever you consider the hero, whoever inspires you to be better than what you are. You’re going to see that guy, you’re going to shake hands with him, you may even have to hit him. But it’s a weird deal when one of your heroes, or your biggest hero, is your teammate and he’s younger than you are. It’s not about what he says, it’s about how he carries himself every single day. His locker was three down from me and just the way he did [things], I just looked at him and I wanted to be everything that Isaac was about. We saw it every single day.
The word "grace" comes to mind when I think of Bruce. It wasn't just the phenomenal production reflected in stats. It was how Bruce carried himself and what he meant to teammates. It was how he approached the game and how that approach added value beyond the numbers. Farr singled out a game against Green Bay in the mid-1990s when Bruce blocked a punt, then scored a touchdown on the next possession. "It’s just one of those things where you’re so motivated by one guy and you can’t even believe it," he said.