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Earnest Byner hasn’t let one play define him.
His new book, “Everybody Fumbles,” which was just released in a second edition, discusses his infamy in Cleveland history for the play termed “The Fumble,” and, more importantly, how he learned to shed his internal demons in the NFL.
As a running back for the Browns in the 1988 AFC Championship game, Byner had a chance to score a touchdown and tie the game against the Broncos. As he raced for the goal line, he was stripped of the ball at the two-yard line allowing Denver to recover, ending Cleveland’s dreams of heading to the Super Bowl.
“Having to go through the consistent lashing that I took, regarding that, it just made me want to help people that have made, not even as drastic a mistake as that was,” Byner told The Redskins Blog.
“In life, we all make these mistakes,” he said. “We all have to deal with learning from the mistakes. We all have to do that. So that initially motivated me into writing. By nature, I’m a teacher. This is another way of teaching but also giving people answers for dealing with different aspects of life.”
The book, which is available for purchase on Amazon and Byner’s website, also details his career, including winning a Super Bowl as a Redskin. His recently started book tour has allowed him to interact with fans and heal old wounds.
“It’s been really good. It’s been a real blessing,” Byner said. “Just being able to shake the hands of people and exchange some love. It’s been really powerful.”
Byner said it was his move to Washington that helped him recover and forgive himself the most.
“That play is just part of my legacy,”Byner said. “The things that gave me comfort was the spiritual connection that I got when I came to Washington, through Coach Gibbs, Tim Johnson, Darrell Green…When I got that spiritual connection I was able to forgive myself for that but still be able to use that energy to move forward.”
The biggest factor was inside the locker room. Byner described there being a “level of accountability” that allowed for an honesty and interconnectedness between players, creating a foundation to bond on and off the field.
“It was a lot of grown men that really took to that mentality,” he said. “It was really powerful to be there to go through that growing process.”
Byner will be coming to the D.C. metro area on January 18 for a book signing at Great Moments retail store located in the Westview Promenade in Frederick, Md.
Tags: Broncos, Browns, darrell green, Earnest Byner, Joe Gibbs, Kim Johnson, redskins, The Fumble
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