His birth name was Jacob Cohen...he became Jack Roy...then, Rodney Dangerfield.
Rodney Peete and family... Peete has written a new book on autism called Not My Boy...
I've got Rodney on the brain today, due to a random convergence of Eagles alumni news and show business... You probably remember the Eagles QB Rodney Peete from when he was signed as a free agent to back up Randall Cunningham in 1995. The former All-American from USC had some pretty fair years with Detroit, starting as a rookie in 1989 and lasting there until 1994, when he signed as a free agent with Dallas. In '95, the Eagles picked him up....to replace Bubby Brister at backup QB.
Peete was eventually the guy that Donovan McNabb replaced in 1999, but not before Rodney had already begun to prove his aptitudes span well beyond football. His marriage to Hollywood actress Holly Robinson led to the building of one of the greatest charity foundation legacies among all NFL players, thanks to the brightness of their relationship and their shared social conscience.
Rodney was recently quoted as saying the 2010 Eagles' prospects "look good" to him, despite the trade of Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. Peete stated the real challenge for the Eagles will be to hold their offensive line together and stay healthy.
I'll get back to Peete...first, here's the other "Rodney" tie-in...and another all-around good guy who even in death would not want you to know how many charity foundations he had going...particularly those benefitting the UCLA medical institution which saved his life on more than one occasion...
Yes, that Rodney... the "tough-luck persona of the loser" Rodney, but who's really not a loser 'cause he just keeps trying to win anyway...the guy who gets no respect, the guy that nothin' goes right for... but in the end he wins by sheer longevity and making fun of his own losses. Rodney Dangerfield is part of the inner-Eagle-child in any Eagle fan born after 1950.
Anyway, I just happened to stumble across Dangerfield's autobiography "It's Not Easy Bein' Me", which he wrote in 2004 at the age of 82. I was really looking for Rodney Peete's new book, "Not My Boy"... What the heck, I bought 'em both.
Dangerfield actually writes a few pages on his favorite sport, Football. I was surprised Rodney liked football. But he actually produced a few gems of original thought on the sport, even though they are cloaked in his patented rhythm of humor:
"In high school when I played football, I got no respect. I shared a locker with a mop. But seriously, I like football. But there are things that puzzle me...When I watch a football game, I see guys trying to bang the other guys as hard as they can. They tackle hard. Their heads collide. Their bodies slam against one another. And all of a sudden the game stops...there's a penalty for "holding"... it shouldn't be that big a deal! ... And another thing...why do they make such a big deal out of the "two-minute warning"? Everyone knows you got two minutes left to play and that's it... To me, a two-minute warning would only be a big deal if I'm with a chick, the phone rings, and it's her husband calling from his car phone. He says, 'Honey, I'll be home in two minutes.' Now that's a two-minute warning! "
"Another thing I don't get is the "delay of game" penalty... What could delay the game more than calling the "delay of game" penalty? I also don't like it when they have girl announcers for a football game. They should only have male announcers. Football is a man's game. I don't want to hear a girl telling me we are two inches short of the goal..."
That kind of football thinking from Rodney D. put me in a brighter mood to take on the review of Rodney P.'s new book, which I feel is a must-read for all Eagles fans who are parents, whether their lives have been touched by the tragedy of autism or not. You will come away from this man's story touched by the grace of his intelligence and compassion, not to mention the genuine strength of his marriage and the atmosphere of love in his family. The Peete's are for real. The NFL really does have some excellent character role models, and the Peete family must be considered as a fine example of the good side of the NFL.
Read the book and judge for yourself. The human struggle of Rodney in his ability to accept the autistic nature of his now-10-year-old son is honestly portrayed in the deepest terms of emotional honesty. In the end it becomes a story of hope. Problem is, not all the critics loved the book. Some, like Michael Savage, HATED IT...either that, or they are just jealous of Peete, his fabulous wife and family, his growing net worth due to sound investments, or his celebrity foundation status.
Here's a direct report from Rodney Peete's "Zine":
Holly Robinson and Rodney Peete, who have a 10-year-old autistic son named Rodney, Jr., are speaking out against some recent ignorant remarks made by Michael Savage about children with autism. The controversial remarks originally aired July 16 on Savage’s radio show, The Savage Nation, during which he called the disorder “a fraud, a racket…In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out…They don’t have a father around to tell them ‘Don’t act like a moron…Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’” The Peete’s response:
“As a mother and father who have dealt with Autism for over a decade, we find it shocking that the individuals who name call and pass judgement on families like ours, have had zero experience with the disorder or its effects on a child and his/her family.
“Attacking fathers and insinuating that kids with Autism are ‘brats’ is irresponsible, insulting and painful to our children and furthers the backlash they face every day. In the African-American community many children go undiagnosed until the “window” of opportunity for treatment has been slammed shut. They are diagnosed on average 2-4 years later than other more affluent subsets of society. The American Academy of pediatrics recent and long overdue decision to encourage pediatricians to have every child tested for Autism by the age of two may help these children get a diagnosis and treatment, which needs to come early, hard and fast.
“For Savage to portray this important mandate negatively is malicious and misguided. We have seen our son beat the odds because he had an early diagnosis and access to treatment. We continue to work every day to help other families provide the same opportunity to their children.”
I echo and reinforce Holly and Rodney Peete's response to Michael Savage. And after reading two books by two men named Rodney, I am convinced that the only Loser in this whole discussion is Savage.
Somehow the Rodney's have combined to give this Eagle fan a lift of spirit in the sweltering dog days of this Delaware Valley heat wave. Get plenty of liquids and electrolytes in your body this summer, dehydration is not a pleasant experience. Trust me. I'll save that story for Training Camp.