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HANDOUT PHOTO; ONE TIME USE ONLY; NO ARCHIVES; NOTFORRESALE MANDATORY CREDIT Mylan Hicks in shown in a Calgary Stampeders handout photo, released Sunday, Sept.25, 2016. The Stampeders say defensive back Mylan Hicks died on Sunday morning. He was 23. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Stampeders MANDATORY CREDIT

Mylan Hicks shown in a Calgary Stampeders handout photo, released Sunday, Sept.25, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Calgary Stampeders

Our church family knows this pastor likes talking football but I wasn’t prepared for the conversation I had Sunday morning.

The first thing a friend asked was, “Did you hear about Hicks? He was murdered this morning.”

Mylan Hicks was like my sons – dreaming of making it as a pro football player.

Football Fraternity

Only a professional athlete understands all that it takes to survive minor football, high school, the college ranks, training camps and practice rosters. The 5am long distance runs. Lifting weights. Drills. Coaches trying to break you down – physically, mentally and spiritually. The injuries you don’t tell the trainers about.

He was privileged to be a part of the fraternity of football players. With the NCAA Spartans of Michigan State University and the CFL Stampeders of Calgary, Mylan found his brothers. There’s something primal about being a part of a football team – of going to “war” together. There’s a camaraderie that transcends the playing field or the locker room.

Teammate, Joshua Bell called him “his little bro.”mylan hicks

A Family in Schock

Mylan lived his dream.

Then it was over.

Gunned down outside a Calgary nightclub early on a Sunday morning.

Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell got the call that he was needed at a press conference to address the media about his teammate’s murder.


Sports teams toss around words like “killed” “slaughtered” or “murdered” to describe crushing defeats.

Rarely are those words ever used to describe real life.

Just hours earlier, Rene Paredes had booted a field goal with no time on the clock to lead the Stamps in a thrilling comeback victory against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The same reporters who had recorded the team’s euphoria now waited to hear their reactions to the chilling news.

A Family Mourns

Mitchell, John Hufnagel team president and GM, and Hicks’ teammates appeared with tears in their eyes and their heart in their throats. “Everybody’s talking about when’s the next time we’re going to lose. Last night we had the most devastating loss we could. Football doesn’t even seem important right now,” said Mitchell.Screenshot 2016-09-25 19.05.35

Hick’s coach at MSU echoed the sentiments of many who knew him, “Mylan went at everything with a great deal of excitement. He just enjoyed playing football and being around our program. He was a great student as well, graduating from Michigan State.

I had many personal talks with him during his five years here. He went 100 miles an hour. No. 6 was a beautiful person and just lit a room up when he walked in. He established himself as a leader on our football team in his last year. This is just tragic and has rocked our Spartan football community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mylan’s family. We will miss him deeply.”mylan hicks2

Professional athletes often appear tough, and able to take care of themselves. Rod Sawatzky, team chaplain for the Stamps, knows first-hand that these athletes need support like everyone else. Especially in moments like this.

When the Stamps gathered on Sunday morning Hufnagel had Sawatzky address the team and pray with them.

Mylan Hicks was 23.

As an Edmonton Eskimo fan, I usually cheer against the Stamps.

Today, we’re all Stampeder family.Screenshot 2016-09-25 20.56.20

APPLICATION: Take a knee today…say a prayer for Mylan’s mom, his family and his football family.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

One Comment

  • Carole Schlachta says:

    Being from Quebec as Allouettes fan , My heart goes out to all Mylan’s fans, his team, friends, family and pray that his parents, find comfort in God.

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