NASHVILLE, TN — Football is the consumate team sport. Eleven players working together makes each play a chance to work. For the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs, working together has been pretty easy. Their motto since the inception of the team has been; “We Are Not Just a Team, We Are Family.” The staff and players share a brotherhood. Some even share the same bloodlines.
“It feels great to line up with my big brother everday,” said wide receiver Lawrence Gilbert of his brother Romeo Gilbert. “I look up to him and he has been there for me all of my life. Winning is always good but winning with him is special.”
The Gilberts aren’t the only members on the team that are related. Dewayne and Randall Smith are brothers, so are Deangelo and Keon Bohannon, Billy, Ladarrious and Richard Bailey are cousins. The team gravitates to the closeness of the kindred spirit of the families. Some even incorporate themselves with them.
“Some of us have been together for so long that we fight like brothers do,” said Mychal Hendricks. “We go on trips together, work together, workout together, give each other parties. The summer team has added more guys to the brotherhood. We even call our general manager (Scott Wallace) Pops.”
With a team with so much talent, you would think there would be jealousy involved. The negative is subdued becuause the players for the most part handle any issues amongst themselves. The front office has put a system in place to make sure negative aspects are addressed. Even owner Ricky Prochaska and B.J. Ladd don’t share the same bloodline but Prochaska is like his big brother.
“We have been together since he was a kid,” said Prochaska. “Heck, I bought him his first Jordans. I helped to raise him and I am very proud of the man he is. It felt great winning a championship in the spring with him.”