New England Patriots

Tony Collins Talks “Broken Road”: A Conversation with the Former Patriots RB

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 26:  Running back Tony Collins #33 of the New England Patriots carries the ball during Superbowl XX against the Chicago Bears at the Louisiana Superdome on January 26, 1986 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Bears defeated the Pats 46-10.  (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)
Mike Powell/Getty Images
Randolph CharlotinAnalyst IIJuly 17, 2014

I don’t remember every detail about that awful morning in Indianapolis, but the guy in black is burned into my memory. I was on the grass outside my apartment complex, having convulsions, flopping up and down. There was this big wide field nearby, and I saw a man walking toward me, dressed in all black. I said to myself, “I don’t want to die like this.”

--Opening paragraph from “Broken Road” by Tony Collins with Bethany Bradsher

We don’t imagine pro sports athletes like we used to. We thought of them as heroes, almost flawless, indestructible. But more and more often we’re reminded how fallible they really are.

San Francisco 49ers’ Aldon Smith arrested for making a false bomb claim at airport security. Buffalo Bills’ Marcel Darius arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Carolina Panthers’ Greg Hardy arrested for allegedly assaulting and threatening his girlfriend. The list goes on.

Tony Collins has been there. The former New England Patriots running back spent 18 years out of control, led by his vices. The opening paragraph from his book “Broken Road” was the lowest point in Collins’ life. And from this nadir, Collins turned his life around.

Collins is now using his experiences as an example, showing people the importance of making the right decisions. The book is one tool Collins uses to help get that message across.

I sat down with Collins to talk about his book and his message. The NFL should listen.

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