“You know me,” Boyd says. “I’ll just go play.”
Since we know Boyd, we know he’s tougher than the hardscrabble streets he conquered in Clairton, Pa., along the Monongahela River on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Straight up. Long before he beat man, zone or anything else. He grew up watching a lot of Bengals-Steelers. A lot of Carson Palmer throwing to Johnson and Houshmandzadeh, his soul mate in the slot.
“For sure. I watched him and Chad and Palmer. They were the main guys,” Boyd says. “If I didn’t watch the game, I knew about them. Seeing my name under theirs or above them, where ever, it’s special. At the end of the day, guys don’t really get the opportunity to play in the league and I was fortunate enough to play so long and be with those top tier guys.”
Now, the person in the family who is the numbers guy is Tonya Payne-Scott, his mother, the former social worker who now runs the youth league Boyd used to dominate. Thanks to them and that play in Baltimore nearly five years ago (Tonya calls the donations that poured in from Buffalo fans “The Touchdown Money,”) the Western Pennsylvania Youth Association has virtually tripled while adding basketball and spring football with those seed bucks.
When the pads come on in July, they’ll have 90 football teams ranging from five and six years old to 13 and 14 in 16 towns…