A few months ago, I decided to get serious about blogging and to really focus on a blog mostly about college football. Well, here it is.
In a few short months, I have talked on the phone with one of the top sports agents on the East Coast and any number of other interesting people. I have exchanged emails with a former Notre Dame Tight End that made ‘the catch’ back in the 1973 Sugar Bowl. All of those guys were really exciting contacts for me and I have really enjoyed writing this blog. Yes, it’s a lot of work, also, and I have to keep busy at it.
I really don’t want to put anyone above anyone else on my list as far as most interesting or most likeable or who was the biggest name. I really don’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone I have talked to, either, in case they were to actually read this post.
But, it’s really hard to beat Mr Marc Pittman from Shreveport, Louisiana.
If you have never seen Marc Pittman in person let me tell you he is a large, large man. I am a big guy at 6-5, 260, but Marc Pittman is at least 6-6 and probably around 280 or more.
On the old sports boards back in the day, anyone that saw Marc Pittman asked somewhat jokingly if Marc had any eligibility left. He looked big enough to play Offensive Tackle at least at the college level. Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American Statesman called him ‘a bear of a man’ and that describes him pretty well physically. One look at ‘Papa Bear’ and a person can easily see where Cole and Chase Pittman got their size from.
Evangel Christian Academy is a preparatory school in Shreveport, Louisiana. Evangel has won nearly a dozen state championships shortly after they started playing football in 1993. Shreveport Evangel has a 232 – 31 record over their existence. Let that sink in for a minute because we are talking a dynasty and a high school football powerhouse.
They’ve had an incredible run of talent as well such as John David Booty, Josh Booty, Brock Berlin, Keyunta Dawson, Jacob Hester, and the Pittman brothers, Cole and Chase.
Cole Pittman played at Shreveport Evangel in the 1990s. Not only was Evangel one of the top high school football schools in the country, but Cole Pittman was also one of the top players.
He was a very highly recruited Defensive End and considered one of the best at his position in the entire country.
After much thought and plenty of head scratching, I’m sure, Cole picked the University of Texas to play his college football. I will never forget those days on the internet when Cole announced his college choice at his church in front of all of his family and friends and whoever else wanted to be there. It was a pretty big deal and created quite the internet buzz as well.
The 1999 signing class at the University of Texas was the #1 ranked signing class in the entire country that season. It was Mack Brown’s first full recruiting season at Texas after coming in and replacing John Mackovic. Mack Brown, at one time, was a recruiting wizard and was absolutely phenomenal. Say what you want about his coaching abilities and I will not argue that, but he was an outstanding recruiter for most of his college coaching days. The 1999 class included such highly rated players as Chris Simms from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey and Corey Redding, Bo Scaife from Denver, Derrick Dockery and of course, Cole Pittman from Shreveport.
February 25th, 2001 Cole was driving back to Austin to get back to school and start spring football practice. Tragically, his pick up truck left the road for unknown reasons and Cole was taken from this life much too soon.
I believe that #44 Cole Pittman was right on the verge of doing great things on the football field. He had been moved from Defensive End to Defensive Tackle and should have been a starter in the up coming 2001 football season.
By all accounts, Cole Pittman was a great person and was greatly loved by not only his family but his teammates as well. I recently interviewed one of his teammates who said that Cole Pittman was really talented and was a hard worker and dedicated to being the best that he could be. His teammates loved him.
Cole Pittman and his father, Marc, were really close. Cole and his brother, Chase, were really close as well. They were about as close as any father and son and any set of brothers could possibly be. Their relationships were almost a little bit bordering on amazing.
I am not sure I have ever even heard of a 20 year old son calling his father every night at 9:30 to tell him that he loved him.
Their story is inspirational.
I have a son. My son is still alive and well. I have no idea what I would have done in similar circumstances, I feel pretty confident that I would have withdrawn and become something of a hermit.
Marc Pittman did just the opposite.
He wrote a book called Raising Cole and I recommend any father buying this book and reading it. I’ve read a lot of books in my day and I have only read a few that have been life changing. Raising Cole by Marc Pittman is life changing.
If you are interested, order it off of Marc Pittman’s website or from Amazon.com. Doesn’t matter where you get it, just get it. http://www.raisingcole.com/
Marc Pittman is a large gentleman as I have already typed, but his heart is even bigger. I am not sure I have talked to many people on the phone that are more outgoing and personable.
Even in his incredible heart break he is still mostly concerned about others over himself. He has taken the worst possible situation for him and his family and used it to help others.
He doesn’t seem to care how many books he has sold and he surely doesn’t care how much money he has made. But, one thing he does care about and you get that really huge feeling when you talk to him is that he really cares about you, the person on the other side of the phone, or the email or whoever he is talking to.
This horrible, unthinkably sad and horrific tragedy put Marc Pittman in a position to help others in need and he has made the best of it.
No amount of book sales will ever bring his awesome son, Cole, back but Marc is doing the best that he can with the situation he so tragically got placed in. http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Cole-Developing-Relationship-Embracing/dp/0757302025/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404439160&sr=8-1&keywords=raising+cole
I post all the time how this blog put me in a really great position of talking to this person or that, but in saying all of that, my best contact very well may have been Marc Pittman. I have enjoyed all of the new contacts but Marc Pittman just has a way of lifting you up when speaking to him.
Cole’s younger brother, Chase, was also a highly sought after recruit. Similar to the 1999 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns, Chase signed with the Horns in 2002 and they were ranked #1 in the country. The 1999 class was a bit of a let down on the field, but the 2002 class won the National championship in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
Led by QB Vince Young, they also had Justin Blaylock, Rodrigue Wright, David Thomas, Brian Robison and, of course, Chase Pittman.
It’s often tough to follow older brothers, but it was especially tough on Chase being at UT under these circumstances. Chase decided to finish his college football at in state LSU and he did well there starting at DE. Chase started in 2005 and 2006 and finished up at LSU with 61 total tackles and 8.5 sacks.
Chase was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 7th round but only stuck around a couple of years due to injuries.
Do yourself a favor and click on raisingcole.com or go to Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, or even your local book store, and buy a copy of Marc Pittman’s book Raising Cole.
Cole Pittman should never be forgotten and this book is truly inspirational and life changing. I highly recommend it for anyone.