Professional athletes not all jerks, some remember what’s important

Ali Adair

Ali Adair

When I first decided to become a journalist, my first story was going to be about NFL quarterback Todd Bouman.

At the time, his older brother Shane was recruiting me to play softball here at SDSU. Todd had just starting seeing some serious playing time with the Vikings and every reporter in the world wanted to talk to him so he didn’t exactly have time for a high school talk radio program. Since then, I have been trying to figure out a way to get the story I missed out on almost four years ago.

I thought about doing a story on Todd and his football career. A hometown boy from Minnesota who went to St. Cloud State, played a summer in Europe and then went on to the NFL. I could talk about his stats, the teams he has played for and all the things that go along with being in the NFL, but that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. It never seemed right to me.

When I think of professional athletes, I see players with too much money, too much talent and too much attitude, players that live in the spotlight and live wildly. But when I think of Todd Bouman, that’s not what I see.

Last weekend Todd and his wonderful wife Courtney, an all-American volleyball player from St. Cloud, took the time and invited 13 very hungry softball girls, a couple coaches and a bus driver into their brand new home in the Minneapolis suburbs. This is when I got a completely different look at this professional football player.

The house was amazing, the food was filling, but the atmosphere was the best. Todd and Courtney were great. They fed us, entertained us but most of all they showed me there was more to their lives than football. Two things to be exact: Aidan and Aivary, ages 3 and 4.

Todd has a lot of things that many people dream of having, but one thing Todd does have is something some people never get, humility. Here is a guy who plays in the NFL, makes millions of dollars a year, but doesn’t mind running upstairs and grabbing a bottle of water for a guest. He is a guy that knows his roots and hasn’t forgotten where he came from, and that is saying a lot. He and his wife took us into their home like they had known us all their lives, when in reality most of us had never met. Courtney even took the time to give us her mint brownie recipe, which we have dubbed “mint Bouman’s”.

When it comes down to it, the Bouman clan knows what is most important in life. It’s who you are, not what you are. You could have all the things you have ever wanted, but what fun is it if you don’t enjoy sharing it with friends and family. When I look at Todd Bouman, family is what I see.