Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chiefs cornerback Javier Arenas talks to Sports Illustrated about Tuscaloosa tornado

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

click to enlarge Javier Arenas was lucky to survive the Tuscaloosa tornado unharmed.
  • Javier Arenas was lucky to survive the Tuscaloosa tornado unharmed.

It's every athlete's goal to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but not in the way Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Javier Arenas has done it. Unfortunately, it isn't gracing the cover because of his skills. Rather, Arenas is featured in the magazine for surviving the tornado that chewed up his adopted hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27.

The cover photo shows Arenas, who played for Alabama's 2009 National Championship team, standing on a tree stump, dwarfed by the destruction on his street. He told the magazine that he watched the tornado approach and took cover in his bathtub as it blew past his home, leveling nearby houses.



Writer Lars Anderson describes the unreal atmosphere that

lingered after the tornado passed:

Arenas prayed in his bathtub. Please God, let it be over.

Please let

it be over... . And then it was. The tornado passed. Arenas, his

heart jackhammering, walked outside. Several houses in his neighborhood

were flattened. A few women ran down his street screaming. He meandered,

as if in a dreamlike fog, to his favorite place on 15th Street, a

Smoothie King, where he had always stopped after his workouts. The

building looked as if a fist from the sky had reached down and smashed

it. But as he walked closer to where the Smoothie King had stood 10

minutes earlier, he heard two women buried in the store's rubble,

begging to be rescued. As Arenas drew closer to help, he was overcome by

the noxious smell of gas. He ran to a fireman, told him of the women,

and within minutes they were pulled to safety.

In the days after the disaster, Arenas visited Kansas City to stock up on

emergency supplies, before returning and handing them out to Tuscaloosa

residents made homeless by the storms. He told the magazine, "I never

realized that as a former Alabama football player, I can bring a

smile to someone's face just by hugging them."

Let's hope the Sports Illustrated jinx doesn't apply to stories about natural disasters.


Follow The Pitch on Facebook and on Twitter @pitchplog.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Ben Palosaari

Most Popular Stories

Slideshows

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation