Super Bowl Sunday

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed by Caitlin Adams

As of this writing, 2/15/12, injustice time is 130,344 hours. 5,431 days.

Follow up to the blog, “Violation,” Rodney still has not been given his belongings back. 

February 5, 2012, millions upon millions of people around the globe participated in a rather strange yearly event, the NFL's ultimate game, the Super Bowl. I tried to view the Super Bowl as if I were an alien - hence the use of the word "strange." Now, in the service of journalistic integrity, I am a football junkie and can't remember a year that I was not glued to my TV on Super Bowl Sunday. (OK, I was so totally in "jinxville," that I did not watch Super Bowl XLIII or XLV.) I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, and I am a diehard, lifelong Steelers fan - Terrible Towel waving, wallpaper your family room, mired in jinx lore - OK, enough said. So, when I was visiting Rodney with our mutual friend Julie on the Tuesday after the game, our conversation eventually got around to the big game, New England Patriots vs. New York Giants. Rodney's Super Bowl Sunday...

Game day arrives on the Polunsky Unit, Rodney and I are willing to bet every other prisoner with a radio was busily devising creative, inventive, ingenious engineering feats to be able to tune their AM dials to the game. Rodney, happily, was successful, and as he listened to the pre-game hype he got his Super Bowl party game on, ready for kickoff. (Gives new meaning to a tailgate party.) Out came pictures of his mom, family, his sons, Aaron and Anthony, grandkids, Marlei and Jaymeson, Wildflower Julie and Wildflower me - guests all present and accounted for. Next up, recent Sports Illustrated magazines and ESPN the Magazines (fortunately, these were the only magazines not taken during the recent shakedown), opened to all the best photos, analysis of the Patriots and Giants. And the coupe de grace, a bag of cheddar popcorn! Rodney and I have an ongoing, unfolding "popcorn story.” You eat it, you throw it at the TV when the ref makes a bad call, I dump it on Rodney's head for any number of infractions, and of course the penultimate use of popcorn - food fight!

During the playoffs, Rodney had come up with an idea about helping motivate himself to begin working out more regularly. The plan, pick a team he thought would lose the game and bet another prisoner 500 pushups! By the end of AFC/NFC championship weekend Rodney owed 0 pushups and had 1,000 coming his way. His plan was definitely not working out the way he had hoped!

Super Bowl weekend rolls around. Apparently all the prisoners Rodney talked with were betting on the Patriots, so Rodney was also feeling real confident that the Patriots were going to win the game. So he bet 500 pushups on the Giants. Well as the fates would have it, try as he might to lose his bet, those darn Giants went ahead and beat the Patriots. Final score Rodney 0 - Opponents 1,500! He's still waiting to collect on those pushups and still working on that motivational jumpstart!

By the way, Rodney has become a bit of a Steelers fan recently! Soul Man, thanks so much for time and time again showing me about what it means to be fully alive.

 Caitlin Adams is a resident of Bastrop, Texas.  After meeting the family of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed outside of their home in early 2011, she began writing with Rodney.  She has developed a friendship with Rodney's mother Sandra and his family in Bastrop, as well as making regular trips to death row to visit Rodney. 

After learning about the facts of Rodney's case, Caitlin has become an advocate for Rodney Reed – here we present Caitlin's story about her journey for justice.