I find this incredible!
Ex-NFL player reacts to trashed house
An estimated 300 teenagers threw a party at the house of Brian Holloway over Labor Day weekend, authorities say, causing a reported $20,000 in damage to the property of the former New England Patriots and Los Angeles Raiders left tackle.
That sentence might normally make Holloway sound like the coolest irresponsible uncle ever, except there’s a catch: Holloway spends most of his time these days in Florida and wasn’t at the Stephentown, N.Y., vacation home at the time of the rager.
Fortunately for the 54-year-old Holloway, who last played in the NFL in 1988, kids can tend to be irresponsible on social media, and several of the ones accused of taking part in the party also reportedly took to Twitter to talk about it.
So Holloway took it upon himself to teach some of the kids a lesson, posting their tweets and pictures to a website he created called HelpMeSave300.com:
Holloway wants it to be clear, though, that he didn’t post the images to shame the kids or get them in trouble — hopefully they’re already in enough of that with their parents — but rather, to encourage people to get these kids to change their lives for the better.
“I believe that they can be turned around,” Holloway wrote on the site. “I believe that this event that was marked with spray paint on our home — can be turned into a declaration of change, transformation and new beginnings.”
Here’s more from Holloway’s letter on the site:
I believe that “their ultimate party” of crimes can in fact become the ultimate Turning Point in the lives of these 300.
I really do.
Tammy and I have 8 children, and we’ve also live and pray during those long nights when our children go out, for them to make good decision.
For 30 years I’ve worked with Governors of Massachusetts, Michael Dukakis and New York’s, Mario Cuomo’s DARE programs; to provide the support, education and leadership to students who are at risk; peer pressure is real.
Students do die from drugs and alcohol.
It’s the most painful thing in the world.
Like all parents; every time I have looked down at the caskets of my children’s classmates…I am haunted by a single question —
Could I have done something to prevent this?
Well, I am still haunted…
Today, I know I can do something; I know we can do something; to turn these kids around.
I do know for a fact, if I do nothing, if we do nothing regarding these 300 students, we will have missed our chance to take a stand for their future.
In addition to trying to spread his message, Holloway — who told WNYT he’s been getting threats from parents over his posting of their kids’ pictures — also organized a clean-up event at his house. And sure enough, some kids (who were not at the party) showed up to help:
As for the rest of the teens? Though Holloway says his goal isn’t to get them in trouble, they’re not out of the woods just yet. A spokeswoman for the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office told The Associated Press Wednesday that there is a “very large investigation” underway but that no arrests have been made.
Holloway’s website documenting the outrage is here: http://www.helpmesave300.com/
Later, this op-ed piece was published:
An Open Letter To The Parents Of The Stephentown 300
What planet do you live on?
Last week, word got out that your children had broken into a home in Stephentown, NY and threw a party. More than 300 of them partied and drunkenly smashed windows, urinated on the floors, stood on tables, punched holes in the ceiling and stole a statue that was part of a memorial for the owner’s stillborn grandson. Oh, it gets better. Before, during and after the party, they tweeted about it and posted pictures of themselves engaged in this behavior.
Way to go.
The house is owned by former NFL player Brian Holloway. It is his second residence, paid for in part by his Super Bowl bonus. He lives in Florida and the Stephentown house is on the market. He watched this unfold online while at his home in Florida. Instead of demanding the arrest of your kids, he instead created a website, www.helpmesave300.com, where he reposted their photos, identified the people involved, and called for ways to reach out to young people and show them that there are better ways to spend their time than drinking, drugs and vandalism.
He is a better person than I would have been in that position. It takes class and compassion to see beyond the urine stained carpets, broken windows, damaged walls and blatant disrespect to reach out to your kids. He even offered to welcome these derelicts back to his house for a picnic, where they would work together to make repairs and clean up the mess they left behind. I don’t know that the rest of us would have been able to react the same way.
And one kid showed up. One, out of the 300 teens who were there.
Instead of dragging your kids back to apologize and clean up the mess, you lashed out at Brian Holloway, threatened to firebomb his house, and are now planning to sue him. For what? For identifying your kids online. Well guess what? Your little Johnny did that himself the minute he tweeted that iPhone photo standing on the dining room table, holding a red solo cup filled with beer.
Look, I don’t blame you for what your kids did. Heck, I don’t even really blame them. Teens will be teens, and they do stupid things sometimes. We’ve all been there. It’s not fair to judge parents on the mistakes their kids make. It is how you handle that behavior afterwards that reflects on you as a parent.
Instead of sitting little Johnny down and reminding him that what he did is not acceptable and then dragging him by the collar to apologize to Mr. Holloway, you chose instead to harass and threaten the victim. Let’s not forget here, your child victimized this man by destroying his home. How dare you respond with anything other than regret, embarrassment, and a sincere apology instead of righteous indignation, threats of violence and lawsuits.
Parents like you are responsible for an entire generation that expects the world handed to them, because you have given it to them all along. Instead of teaching your kids to work hard and earn things, you give a trophy to every kid in youth sports and then hand them an iPhone in middle school. You are the parents screaming through the fence at the Little League umpire instead of teaching good sportsmanship. You are the ones criticizing the teacher instead of realizing they just want to help your child learn.
Can you please just step back and look at what you are doing to your kids? This is the generation that will grow up to lead our country and make decisions regarding our lives. I hope none of them are YOUR children.
I think part of the problem here is that because certain people in our society are wealthy, that others considered less fortunate feel they should be allowed to attack them in some way, to take advantage of them for the benefit of the “poor”. That attitude, to put it bluntly, is absolute bull$#it. Laws should never be broken to benefit members of any social class.
If my son or daughter was caught trashing someone else’s home, I would do absolutely nothing to protect him from any legal consequences of that reckless act. I would allow him to go to jail and not ever bail him out before he faces charges at trial, and I would openly apologize to the victim.
The idea of overprotective parents suing Holloway for exposing the identity of their kids who were among the stupid vandals just makes me sick. Such exposures should be a commonly accepted practice when anyone commits a crime or does some other dishonorable act, period!