Determination and focus is apparent in his voice.
While old heads such as myself chide young folks in following generations, conversations with
cats such as John David Washington restore faith in what often seems to be a withering, eroded
and corroded society.
Washington, 26, is one of three Sacramento Mountain Lions' running backs attempting to
further his craft in the United Football League.
The Mountain Lions open their season Saturday afternoon in Hartford against the Colonials.
The game will be telecast nationally on the New England Sports Network (NESN) and broadcast
locally in Sacramento on 1140-AM (KHTK) beginning at 11:30 a.m.
The Mountain Lions open their home season Sept. 25 at Hornet Stadium against the Florida
Washington, the son of Academy Award-winning actor Denzel and Pauletta, played collegiately
at Morehouse (Ga.) College and was not drafted. He signed with the St. Louis Rams and spent
the 2006 season on their practice squad.
Washington played for coach Dennis Green and the UFL's California Redwoods last season.
Washington had 25 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown last season without a reception.
The Redwoods have become the Mountain Lions this season and Washington is glad to be back.
"I'd die for coach Green," Washington said Wednesday afternoon. "He demands respect and he's
a phenomenal human being. Coach Green has given me a chance to play and an opportunity to
earn his trust."
Washington clearly loves football.
"Considering all things," he said, "I'm blessed to be in the position I'm in. I'm just trying to
maximize my potential."
Washington said there is no phase of the game he doesn't enjoy.
"I'll do whatever is needed to help the team," he said. "I love catching the ball out of the
backfield and yes, I play special teams."
Of course, growing up the son of one of the world's most recognizable movie stars, is a little
different childhood than most.
However, Washington says he's fortunate to have such great parents.
"To have a father and mother who care and support me, and to be an African-American male,
especially, I'm extremely blessed and lucky.
"Everything else is what it is, plus they are great football fans," Washington said of his parents.
Washington is looking forward to having a home field. Last season, the Redwoods never had a
"We played at AT&T and we flew in the day of the game," Washington said. "I'm glad we don't
have to do that this year."
Washington said he has been impressed by quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who will start
Saturday for the Mountain Lions.
"I met him in mini-camp," Washington said of Culpepper, a three-time National Football League
Pro Bowler. "He's a great leader by example and vocally. And he's easy to follow."
Washington, who majored in sociology, said you will get two different explanations for the names
"I'm the only one in the family without a middle name," he said. "My mother says I'm named
after my great-grandfather and uncle. My father says I'm named after (former NFL running
back) John David Crow."
Personally, I'm rolling with Pauletta on this one. Denzel, grew up in Money-Earnin' Mount
Vernon, N.Y. John David is lucky his name isn't Yelverton Albert after New York Giants
quarterback Y.A. Tittle.
My, have times changed
Boxer Floyd Mayweather, who seems to go out of his way to dominate the knucklehead division,
Thursday had two felony counts of coercion added to his ledger by Las Vegas police. He
previously faced grand larceny charges for the alleged theft of a phone from his baby's mama.
These coercion charges reportedly stem from him threatening to beat his 10-year-old son to
prevent him from calling 911 and leaving the house.
Somewhere my late pops and moms are shaking their heads. And I hardly ever had hands laid
on me. But threats, those came weekly.