Dockett dedicates Cards' game to slain mother, will give back

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett spews out so many Twitter messages, it's hard to keep up with them.

One this week, though, in advance of Sunday's game at Atlanta, was special.

It read: "I think I'm going to dedicate sunday game to my MOM she was killed when I was 13 I might cry B4 the game."

Dockett returned to his Decatur, Ga., home that day to find his mother shot to death in the head, a crime that never has been solved. He went to live with his father, who died a few months later of pancreatic cancer. An uncle is credited with saving Dockett, helping him avoid a life of drugs and crime on the street.

"Every time I go into that city, even when I was in college (for Florida State) at Georgia Tech, when I went to Atlanta, it was a big thing for me to do well in those games," Dockett said Wednesday. "... That's where my life really started, there's so much tragedy there."

Dockett said he will go back to his old neighborhood this weekend and round up 20 or so youngsters and "take them shopping."

Even though he's an imposing 6-foot-4, 290 pounds of muscle, he won't go alone.

"It's like one of the roughest neighborhoods," he said. "I'll definitely go out there with some of my boys I'm real close with because it's crazy like that. We'll just go out there and reach out to the young kids, take them shopping and keep them out of trouble and just show them -- stay in school and do all the positive things, because when I was in school, no one ever came back and showed that. It was always the drug dealers and always the bad stuff."

Dockett also wants to find the neighbor who "called the police on me everyday when I was 12" and give her a ticket to the game.

"Bring her to the 50yd line row2," he tweeted.

Dockett also wants his fifth-grade teacher there, because she said he would amount to nothing, although his Twitter message used a much stronger word than "nothing."

"To go back and show people that things are possible. Good things are out there," Dockett said Wednesday. "You shouldn't count somebody out. It's a big game for me, and I hope that I can get in touch with them, even though I know they won't come because I think their ego will kick in. It would be much more than a privilege just to show them what I've done with my life and to look at them and see what thieve done with theirs and it's probably nothing."

Dockett, who recently signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension in Arizona with $30 million guaranteed, took a shot to the head Sunday in the Cardinals' 21-17 victory at the St. Louis Rams.

"I'm built like a truck. That don't really bother me. I'm all right," he said. "I just got the lights knocked out of me for a quick second, but I'm OK."

Dockett got himself in a little trouble with the NFL when he sent a Twitter message 20 minutes before kickoff of last Sunday's game at St. Louis. The league prohibits "tweets" within 90 minutes of kickoff.

It was a one-word message.

"Amen."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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