A different kind of holiday for Dockett

Posted by Darren Urban on July 3, 2013 – 2:40 pm

When Darnell Dockett was 13, he found his mother murdered in their Georgia house on the Fourth of July. For a guy who was living a tough life anyway, it was a devastating situation with which to deal. (I recounted Dockett’s life in a story for the Tribune I wrote when he arrived as a rookie in 2004, which can be found right here and here and here.) Obviously, it makes this holiday a lot more difficult for Dockett than most.

But as Dockett pointed out to our broadcast boys Richard Mendez and Jon Hayward during their recent trip to Miami to visit Dockett at his offseason home, he has learned to cope with what had been his midsummer nightmare.

“It’s kind of a love-hate day,” Dockett said. “You love the memories because you think back on those days but you also hate the day because you know what happened on the day. But the older I get I understand my mom wouldn’t want me sitting around being sad.”

Dockett, who just turned 32, now sees July 4th as “kind of like a celebration” to his mom, Cheryl Hambrick, who was only 34 when she was killed.

“The older I get I embrace that more and more,” Dockett said. “But five, six, seven years ago, you couldn’t tell me that. July Fourth was a day I didn’t want to talk about.”

Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “A different kind of holiday for Dockett”

  1. By Whey on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    God bless docket and what hes done for the Cardz. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things a person can go through.

    Daren on a random note: Any word on the Honey badgers weight gaining? 185 his draft weight really worries me for an nfl safety. I saw people posts saying hes in the high 190s now?

  2. By Nick Pepe on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    As a 40+ year Card fan, let me say that few have come as far to be so well respected. We are proud that 9-0 is a Card for life. Go get a ring !

  3. By david on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply


  4. By scott023 on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    I can not imagine what he felt at 13, going through that. I do know his mother is looking down and she is very proud of him. He is a man of steel to fight through that and look now. Darnell is a leader, he could of very well quit and went bad. Not him he is no quitter. He has always been one of my families favorites, we have Docket on our team, and very proud to say it. Thanks darnell

  5. By AzDesertRat1953 on Jul 3, 2013 | Reply

    Can Not even think how I would have made it through any kind of normal life after losing Both parents in a span of a few months. Just not something that should happen to a 13 year old, Boy or Girl, Ever!

    It just shows that Family and True Friends are the best help you can get.

    GO CARDS!!!

  6. By Scott H on Jul 4, 2013 | Reply

    Wow…can’t imagine something like that. But I have to think that his mother must be / would be so proud of the man that he has become. Sounds like he was on a track that leads so many other young african america males into a life of self-destruction. But he obviously was able to steer his ship on a different course and he is a great story for that reason. Too bad the media would much rather beat stories like Aaron Hernandez to death while most people outside the circle of Arizona Cardinals fans don’t know anything about the Darnell Dockett story. So interesting, how the world works sometimes.

  7. By mark on Jul 4, 2013 | Reply

    Darnell is a strong character person. I have always had such a high level of respect for him after discovering more about his personal life. He just isn’t another NFL player or hero, he stands as an example that no matter how many demons you face that you can still be successful.

    On a side note, I look forward to seeing Dockett have the best season of his career! GO BIRDGANG!

  8. By Andy Kw on Jul 6, 2013 | Reply

    Darnell Dockett has been one of the best Defensive Linemen in the NFL. He has already made his mother proud and we all god bless him for his determination on this Arizona Cardinal team. We all have your back if you need us.

  9. By BS on Jul 9, 2013 | Reply

    Dockett you are the MAN!!! This is your year…..Go Cards!!!!

  10. By William Barry on Jul 14, 2013 | Reply

    Darnell should be really be proud on he has overcome a terrible blow in his like at 13. Hats off to him. Good Luck, and God bless. GO CARDS, AND GO DARNELL!!!!

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