The Professional

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A Will Shields story: When Will retired from football, Senia (prounounced SEN-ya) asked him where he wanted to go on vacation. Finally, after all these years, all those collisions, all that grueling work, he was finally free to go anywhere in the world he wanted to go. So where would it be? China? Africa? Australia?

“Hawaii,” Will said.

Senia looked at him as if he was mad. Hawaii? Did he really say Hawaii? The family – Will, Senia, their three children Sanayika, Shavon and Solomon — had been to Hawaii practically every year since Will became a professional football player. He had been elected to a dozen Pro Bowls, for crying out loud. The trip to Honolulu was an annual event on the family calendar.

“Hawaii?” she asked him. “We’ve been on vacation to Hawaii 12 times already.”

“No,” Will quietly corrected her. “YOU have been on vacation in Hawaii 12 times. … I was working.”

From Shields, Unshielded at NBC SportsWorld.