Crawford gets the call |

Crawford gets the call

Michael Traum

A collective hush enveloped the room when the phone rang Sunday at the Crawford residence.

The familiar chirp had interrupted a French toast breakfast and chess game throughout the morning. But now it was late in the sixth round and the National Football League Draft was nearly complete.

Everyone was on edge – a lifelong dream appeared to be slowly fading.

Sure there was free agency, but being drafted into the NFL is like scoring a hundred touchdowns for a football player.

When Kevin Darby handed his buddy Mike Crawford the phone, the group knew this was the moment.

“Hey, is this Mike Crawford?” asked a voice on the line.

“Yes,” answered the pensive 22-year-old.

“How are you doing?” “Good.”

“That’s all you’re going to say? This is the Miami Dolphins … and we’re going to draft you next.”

Crawford’s eyes tell the whole story – ablaze like sparkling stars – and no words escaping his lips.

The Whittell High School graduate would’ve been talking to himself anyway – the group of 10 or so friends and family members had already started celebrating.

The dream was becoming reality.

“We’re sending the card up to the podium,” the voice, a Dolphins’ representative, continued.

“They’re sending up the card,” Crawford relayed.

All eyes focused on the television in the corner.

“With the 173rd pick,” an ESPN announcer said, “the Miami Dolphins select Mike Crawford, linebacker, Nevada.”

And tears joined the cheers.

“That’s when I had to put the phone down,” Crawford said. “Everyone was screaming and I couldn’t hear a thing. And I couldn’t believe what was happening.”

The conversation continued.

“Hold on Mike, someone wants to talk to you.”

Dolphins’ head coach Jimmy Johnson was the next voice. Crawford only nodded, as if hearing a favorite fairy tale.

“We really think you can contribute for us, Mike. Are you ready to be a Dolphin?”

And with the chance to add the final line to a storybook scene, Crawford replied.

“Yes sir, I’d love to play for the Dolphins.”

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