As a Chicago Bears fan, let me be honest with you for a moment.
When I first found out the Bears traded for Brandon Marshall, I had two thoughts. First of all, I thought ‘Wow, what an unbelievable trade! This is huge.’ I was out-of-my-mind excited.
Secondly, I thought, ‘I really hope they know what they’re doing and that he is past his off-the-field issues.’
Six games into his second season with Chicago, I could not be more thrilled, excited and most importantly, proud to have Marshall on my beloved Bears. One of the biggest reasons why is due to his incredible turnaround over the past two years.
A couple years ago, there were reports that Marshall had gotten into some altercations with his wife and when it was all said and done he had been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Fast forward to October 2013 after the Bears took down the New York Giants, and the public got to hear what the biggest reason to his changed lifestyle.
After the game, Marshall complimented three of the most important figures in his life, starting with his quarterback, Jay Cutler.
“You know what, man, I got to be honest. Sometimes I try to downplay to having his back,” Marshall said to the NFL Network crew in reference to Cutler. “But this year, he’s been unbelievable. Sometimes it clicks for guys and he’s unbelievable. I’m lost for words when I talk about him.”
“He’s always reading about how to be a better husband, be a better man, a better father… He understands that he’s not supposed to stay the same. He’s probably the smartest man in any room.”
The maturation in Marshall’s words and tone shines through more and more throughout each and every interview. But nothing was more important to him than sharing the most crucial reason behind his transformation.
“You know what, man, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and without Him man I wouldn’t be here, I’m nothing,” he said. “A few years ago I found that. This journey is still a work in progress. But I am sitting here today living a healthy and effective life.”
“When I got the right help, man, it was like an epiphany. I just want the same for other people. I’m just a living testimony, God’s using me as a living sacrifice.”
Marshall is aggressively active when it comes to promoting mental health awareness and works tirelessly to improve the life of those affected in the community. Thursday night, he wore lime green shoes to represent mental health awareness and will match the fine that is sure to come from the league office.
“A lot of guys might think it’s about you. But I found my purpose and that’s to bridge the gap for the mental health community. So, the green shoes, I’m not trying to be an individual. But this is a platform that’s so amazing, I’m just trying to raise awareness.”
Marshall is more concerned with his long-term impact in this life than the life he leads on the field.
“I have a chance, man, to leave a legacy, and it’s on me.”
Last, but certainly not least, Marshall credited his wife who stuck by his side during the tough times in their marriage and his own health.
“She’s been really, the one that really got me here. If it wasn’t for her, I would have lost everything. I am just so thankful to have a woman like that, that really supports me when we were at our lowest.”
Like I said previously, I could not be more proud to have a guy like Marshall on my lifelong, most dearly-loved franchise.