Nov. 16, 2011
"With Great Power Comes Many Thanks"
By Kyle Neaves, Asst. Director of Media Relations
Senior linebacker Tim Green is thankful for many things. He's thankful for his family's support through the years. He's thankful for his friends and his football team. He's thankful to be receiving his degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in December. He's also thankful to be playing his senior season for the Golden Eagles after it was almost all taken away from him one night in November.
Green was among three Southern Miss football players involved in an off-campus gun related incident. A bullet passed through his neck, hospitalizing him and putting his life, much less his senior season, in serious jeopardy. But with the smile that he has become known for, Green persevered, made it out of the hospital bed, and back onto the field for the Golden Eagles to play out his senior year.
And when it's all said and done, and he walks to the center of the field on Senior Night, he will again, be thankful.
"Everyone here has been like my family, especially considering what I went through last year," Green said. "It's like after the game is over, you're leaving your family. At the same time, I'm grateful. I'm just glad that I was able to play here at Southern Miss, one of the greatest universities in the country. There will be a lot of emotions (on Senior Night), but it will be a happy time."
The journey to Southern Miss, though, was not a short one. While many of the Black and Gold hail from Mississippi and its neighboring states, Green is a transplant from the Palmetto State. Columbia, S.C., to be exact, a roughly 10 hour drive that his parents, Thomas and Deloris Green, try to make every season. For their sacrifices, he is, you guessed it, thankful.
Their pains of having their son that far away have been calmed by the fact that he found his second home, his second family, in his fellow Golden Eagles.
"When we came on my visit here, my parents and I loved (Hattiesburg and the scool). It just felt like home," said Green. "I got a lot of love from a lot of the guys. I just felt like they had already accepted me as, `Hey. You're going to be a Golden Eagle.' From that point on, I just knew this was where I was supposed to be."
And so, it was settled. Green became a Golden Eagle and has been with nine members of his signing class ever since. Those nine have become like brothers to him but one in particular stands out among the rest.
"Cordarro Law is like my big brother. I love him like family," Green added. And when Green found himself in a hospital bed, it was his big brother Law at his bedside. "He was there every day at the hospital. We lived together and he was really down about all of it. It meant a lot to me to have someone like that by my side."
Along with Law and the other defensive players from that 2007 class, Green got his introduction to the "Nasty Bunch" tradition.
"I didn't know too much about the Nasty Bunch tradition before I got here," he pointed out. "The only thing I knew when I received the postcards was about Brett Favre. The coaches tried to let me know about that. When I first got here, that's when I was really introduced to it and what they were back then."
Hearing the "Nasty Bunch" chant grow louder and louder during his senior season has also provided him with extra motivation to make this his best season yet.
"The amount of love that the Golden Eagle nation shows is just tremendous. You see the Nasty Bunch sign every game, whether it's home or away, and you hear the chants," Green said. "It reminds you of what you could be and what you really want the season to be about. It just makes you work even harder. It's motivation because you have those people supporting you and having your back. You don't want to let your team down, your family down, the fans. Everyone deserves it around here."
Ever aware of the emotions of others, Green has become known around Southern Miss for his smile, something he also credits to his parents.
"They are the same way," he said. "We just love life. There aren't a lot of things we really worry about. You're blessed to be here. I'm still blessed to be here myself. So that's how I approach every day. That's why I walk around with a big smile and say, `Hey, if you're having a bad day, I'll try to cheer you up. I'm thankful for that."
Tim Green is thankful. There's that word again.