Rarely do people in the celebrity and/or athletics business get second chances. Whether it's a devastating injury, upsetting the wrong person(s), or poor personal decisions, redemption stories are few and far between. That's why they are so openly celebrated when they occur.
Former Bengals running back Elbert "Ickey" Woods was on top of the world in the late 1980s. After helping to lead the Bengals to Super Bowl XXIII and landing in the Pro Bowl, Woods had a couple of severe knee injuries that ultimately ended his professional football career prematurely. Heartache followed Woods after his football days in the form of financial issues and the tragic loss of his son Jovante in 2010.
Since then, Woods has rebounded by forming a foundation in the honor of his son and appearing in a series of nationally-televised GEICO commercials with quite a funny angle. True to the good guy he has always been known to be in the community, Woods is using this reclaimed fame to help build his son's foundation. Most recently, the St. Cloud Rox, a collegiate summer baseball team, hosted Woods for a fan night event and gave him the opportunity to promote The Jovante Woods foundation.
"I told them I'd come in if they let me raise money for my son's foundation," said Woods, a former All-Pro running back for the Cincinnati Bengals who appeared in a GEICO Insurance TV advertisement, in which he performs his popular touchdown dance "The Ickey Shuffle."
"It's (the foundation) become a big deal in the Cincinnati area, but we're trying to make it a big deal nationwide and hopefully worldwide," Woods said.
"I raise money through my memorabilia," Ickey Woods said. "We brought pictures and we ask for a donation to the foundation for an autographed picture.
"My son was a straight-A student in school and so we decided to give out a scholarship that rewards kids, not only for being good athletes but also (for being) great students," said Ickey Woods.
Woods engaged in a three-city tour with the goal of raising $4,000. If you want to get involved and assist his organization, you can visit jovantewoodsfoundation.org.