All News & Blogs
King George native Jermon Bushrod returns to hometown to share Super Bowl glory with his community
Heritage Hall resident Ruth McNamara hugs NFL player Jermon Bushrod as he visits the facility.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
View More Images from this story
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 2/26/2010
By CATHY DYSON
Jermon Bushrod signed tons of autographs yesterday--on mini footballs and water bottles, a No. 74 jersey and a white pocket-size New Testament.
He gave firm handshakes to men who wanted to stand beside him and see how big they looked by comparison, and he tenderly hugged little old ladies. He said it was all part of the "territory" that comes with being a professional athlete.
Bushrod, who's from King George County, is the starting left tackle for the New Orleans Saints. He told residents of Heritage Hall Nursing Home, where he visited yesterday afternoon, that it hasn't sunk in that he was part of a Super Bowl-winning team.
But whenever the subject of his celebrity status came up, Bushrod switched the focus to the folks back home.
Many times, he mentioned "what a blessing" it is to share the moment with them.
"I just appreciate your support from Day One," said the soft-spoken Bushrod. "It means a whole to me to share it with you."
It meant a lot to the residents and staff, too.
Bushrod is the second cousin of Kenneth McDowney, whose wife, Patricia, is the activities director at Heritage Hall.
When the McDowneys saw Bushrod over the weekend, Patricia McDowney took her chance to ask him if he'd come visit. She has a patient who's been talking about the Saints' lineman for months.
"He said he'd be more than happy to," said Patricia McDowney. "He is probably the most down-to-earth, most humble, sweet person, to be in the position he's in."
Gordon Rose is the resident who wanted to meet Bushrod. Rose grew up in King George with Bushrod's grandfather, Arthur. Even though Rose is a Cowboys fan, he switched his allegiance for the Super Bowl.
"I was rooting for him because he's a local boy and all," Rose said. "They're a nice family, the Bushrods, as nice as you'd want to meet."
The 25-year-old athlete spent about 20 minutes answering questions, mostly from staff. He told the crowd of about 50 residents and workers that he's taking a few weeks off to relax and spend time with family. Then he's headed back to New Orleans.
Yesterday, a woman at Heritage Hall Nursing Home in King George asked Jermon Bushrod if he'd consider playing for Washington.
Bushrod, the starting left tackle for the New Orleans Saints, told the crowd that he was a Redskins fan growing up.
"Anybody who would want to take a chance on me, I'm willing to go," Bushrod said.