- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
About that same time Mike and Julie realized that their feelings for one another had gone beyond the friendship stage. Still the romance seemed to have hit the wall when Mike graduated and went off to play in New England, and Julie, who was a junior, stayed behind in Tempe. The phone bills and airline tickets cost a lot, but "we felt this real strength when we were together," says Julie. "Love is love," says Mike. "What could I do? There was no guarantee I'd find it again." They were married before Haynes's second pro season.
Now Haynes feels a completeness that often makes him smile. The only thing he still wants to do is to set a better example for black children after he is through with football than he has while playing. "Black kids set such low goals for themselves, like I did," he says. "They have enough sports heroes. They need to believe they can be Lee Iacoccas, too."
It is Haynes's inner calm that makes him relish the challenge of man coverage, rather than fear its all too public judgments. A while ago Willie Brown asked Haynes why he liked playing bump-and-run so much. "Because I feel in control," Haynes replied. Brown smiled. "That's how I felt, too," he said.
"4.8 pounds."..."4.6 pounds."
When Hayes is finished, Haynes quietly places his pads on the scale. They are custom-built, copper-colored, air-filled Donzis pads.
"3.4 pounds," reads the display.
"Better get some, Lester," Haynes says. "They're what the wide receivers are wearing."
Hayes, who prides himself on always having the competitive edge, looks partly pained, partly awestruck.
Later he will say of his partner, "Believe me, beneath that clean-shaven, boyish face lurks a man who would tear out your heart on Sunday and eat it raw."