ST. CLOUD, Fla. -- Darryl Strawberry will always be tied to his former baseball exploits. Hes now trying to help others avoid the pitfalls that plagued his career with opening of his second drug rehab facility in two years. Strawberry and his wife Tracy -- both ordained ministers -- were in central Florida Friday for the opening of their second drug rehabilitation and treatment centre. The Darryl Strawberry Recovery Center will be focused on helping former athletes and others deal with the issues that once followed them both, as well as the new ones -- like concussions -- that face todays generation of athletes. "I think the legacy we all want to leave is a positive one," said Strawberry, whos been clean more than a decade. "Baseball dont leave you a positive legacy. Thats just a game and that comes and goes. But I think the most important thing is for people to see theyre not a mistake." The new centre joins one already open in Texas, and the couple plans to open a third facility close to where they reside in St. Louis later this year. It offers a 28-day residential treatment program that can treat up to 60 patients at a time for addiction and substance abuse. It also has a program to help athletes address post-playing issues, as well as anyone suffering long-term effects concussions and traumatic brain injury. During Strawberrys journey to sobriety he was once told by a treating doctor that he would never make it out of his addiction. He said he wants these new facilities to be a place where patients never hear anything similar. "Drug addiction is an illness and those that dont know that have a tendency to criticize and point fingers. I was one guy they pointed fingers at and said This guy is a cocaine freak, you know?" he said. "They didnt know the depths of it. Today is a sign to show you that this is about recovery." Tracy Strawberry met Darryl nearly 15 years ago at a narcotics rehab convention in Tampa. Both twice divorced, they began dating while both continued to fight their addictions. Getting past their various hurdles they eventually moved to Missouri, and they were married in 2006. Not long after that they started their non-denominational ministry, which Tracy said is the core of the curriculum she helped write for the clinic. But she said it doesnt jam the religious component down patients throats. "You cant be so supernatural that youre not natural," she said. Dr. William Leach, a board certified addiction specialist, is the medical director of the new facility. He said a facility such as this is in a position to approach addiction in ways not previously done at this level. "In 55 years of brain research, we finally figured out that addiction is a biologically-mediated structural brain disease," Leach said. "And we finally figured out to create medicines at least at the start that are going to help with that." Strawberry was joined Friday by several former athletes from the MLB and NFL, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood. Youngblood is on the NFL Players Association concussion committee, and was there specifically to continue to raise awareness about concussion treatment. Youngblood said the potential impact the facility could have is enormous. "Weve been looking concussion issues for the past four or five years and we finally found somebody to partner with," he said. "Once you open the door I believe youre gonna be flooded with those who are suffering from those issues." Strawberry said hes only just beginning his journey to help others. "My own path is experience, and you never give up on a person," Strawberry said. "You never know who will make it with the chance and opportunity." cheap jerseys china
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. In Sundays other Group A game, host Germany plays Canada at Berlins Olympic Stadium. With Germany the overwhelming favourite to advance, the 56th minute strike from Delie gave France the best possible start to join them.EDMONTON -- Edmonton Eskimos kick returner Brandon James is making the most of his second chance at the pro game, but that doesnt mean hes forgotten that for fringe players in the NFL, one dropped ball can mean a lost career. "Everything else is history now. Im up here, Im happy to be here, and Im just ready to keep working," James said after Eskimos practice Thursday. The five-foot-seven, 185 pounder is turning heads at training camp while adjusting to the wide field and multiple motion rules of the Canadian game. "I feel its going to be big whether its returning (kicks) or on offence, where I can beat a guy and just have more field, more end zone to work with," he said. He was brought in to fight for the job after last years return man, Tristan Jackson, was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders. On receiving routes, hes finding holes and catching balls. Head coach Kavis Reed says hes making them wonder if James role should be expanded beyond kick returns. "That discussion has come up because he has done quite well in the slot," said Reed. But he said coaches want to see some game action first. "Im very optimistic that hes going to respond very well, but Im not going to anoint him just yet." James, 23, was born just before Christmas in St. Augustine, Fla., in 1987, the year NFL owners used replacement players to settle a labour dispute with the players. He was a high school star and in 2006 travelled 100 kilometres inland to Gainesville and the famed University of Florida Gators, home to head coach Urban Meyer and celebrated quarterback Tim Tebow. Meyer said he couldnt believe what he was seeing from this freshman "nut" who mocked 107,000 screaming Tennessee fans by scissoring his extended arms to perform the trademark Gator Chomp. "That kid was not intimidated, so I grabbed him and told him he would be the punt returner," Meyer said at the time. James proved to one of the best in the nation. He was a pure north-south runner with legs like thunderbolts. Time and again the man in the blue jersey and orange "Gator" helmet wouuld field the kick and slowly accelerate until he saw a seam, then slash through it to daylight, kicking it into overdrive, defenders falling away as he accelerated toward the end zone.dddddddddddd "Any chance he touches the ball he has a chance to go to the house," Tebow added. Last year, the NFL beckoned, but the undersized James would have to go through the back door. He signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts, taking the training camp practice field with the likes of legends Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney but knowing, as a fringe player, he would get maybe one chance to shine. It came Aug. 27, 2010, as he stood on the five-yard line at Lambeau Field fielding a punt in a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. The ball soared high to its apex, then began tumbling down toward him. He signalled for a fair catch only to have the ball clang off his hands and into the end zone. A pack of rampaging Packers surrounded it for a touchdown as the Cheesehead faithful roared in delight. "James receiving skills are irrelevant," local columnist Reggie Hayes wrote afterward. "What the Colts cant afford is a return man who might fumble the ball." James was bumped down to the practice roster. But when injuries took their toll on the roster by November, he got his shot. He caught four balls for 36 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals. Two weeks later, he was a 22-year-old rookie on national prime time TV, dressed in the famous blue jersey and white horseshoe helmet, catching balls from a future Hall of Fame quarterback. He returned nine kickoffs for 16.7 yards on average. His longest was 24. Not good enough. Experiment over. James was cut. Seven months later, he is on the practice field beside Commonwealth Stadium under low-hanging clouds. Dressed in a white mesh jersey and shorts, James lines up to the left of quarterback Ricky Ray. The ball is snapped and he explodes off the line, jukes left and curls in as Ray whistles the ball into his hands. He catches it, tucks it in, and heads upfield as defenders close in, looking once more for daylight. ' ' '