Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Experience

I am but a man of experiences. Just like any other. A man of many stories. A man on a mission.

Flowery Branch, GA
Training camp with the Atlanta Falcons ended today. This morning, before taking to the field for our last practice, I walked onto the field alone. With no purpose but to reflect. I sat and stared off into the mist that covered the fields. I looked back on each day of camp. How hard did I work? How much effort did I apply? Was I completely focused? Did I leave it all on the field?

A man of experiences. And an amazing experience this was. Post wrongful conviction, never did I imagine being here. NEVER did I imagine playing in  an actual NFL game... How amazing God is, I played in 2 NFL games! And as of now, 2 more to go.

A glimpse of where I should have been, could have been, 7 years ago. The feeling of game day preparation. The energy that flows throughout the locker room. The calmness before war. Piece by piece, armor upon armor, adorned with the Falcons seal. As I ran out of that tunnel and onto the field for game one at the Dome, smoke and flames stretched into the sky,  and I was reassured of my freedom. I was reminded of how thankful I was to the most high. A feeling unlike any other. A rush... an addiction.

I've learned so much throughout camp, and realized how much more learning I have to do. The learning curve was definitely unique for me. While being taught intermediate techniques and principles of the game, I also had to quickly learn the basic 101 intel of a professional linebacker. A new challenge lies before me, and so long as there is opportunity, I will continue to chip away at it until I succeed.

I dont know what lies ahead. But I do know what has been done. I worked hard. Harder than I've ever worked before. I gave camp every ounce of effort I could. I was focused as much as one could be in these shoes. And everyday, I left it all on the field, the good and the bad. I'm so thankful to Mr. Arthur Blank, a giving man. Coach Smith and Mr. Dimitroff. Thank you for this opportunity, this life altering experience. You've given me a chance, and an extended family. My respects to you all.

Two games left in pre-season. Two more weeks to get better. Two more weeks to prove that I belong here. Two more games...

I know where I want to be, and God knows my heart. Nothing last forever, and it is unknown how long things will last. So today, in this very moment, I did it. I won. I accomplished what was at one point unobtainable. I persevered. I worked hard. I gave it my all. I am unbroken. I


Twitter: @BrianBanksFree


  1. You are doing great! Your story is inspiring to me. Keep up the great work! While I am a huge 49'er fan, but still rooting for you too!

  2. Hey Brian, have your agent ring the Jets. Coples is lost for the preseason and possibly beyond; we could use the depth, and New York just loves a good story :)

    Best wishes and much peace, my man.

  3. You are a great inspiration to everyone man, I've been following your journey since I seen on the National News. Best of luck and keep up the good fight

  4. Tears...u r such an inspiration..I
    love the jouney ur on...contined sucess...praying u make the team...but ur already "there".......please keep the faith n dedication no matter here life takes u...u r amazing!!!!!!!!!

  5. I just learned of your story, and it really touched me. So glad that you are getting the opportunity you so deserve. Can't wait to see what the next chapter if your story holds. I'm sure it will be a story to behold.

  6. I'll keep you in prayer. You are such a wonderful young man. Remember you are always where God wants you to be.....peace and love!

  7. You are an inspiration! You are so right, you have already won!! You will excel, wherever life takes you!!! I hope your dream of becoming a NFL football player comes to fruition!!! The Falcons will have fans from all over the country when they put you in the regular season lineup!!!

  8. Wow!!! This is a beautifully stated message!! I am praying for you and wish you the best! You are truly a winner!!!

  9. Dear Mr. Banks,
    Your story stirs up such emotion. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would care about the incarcerated, until my son become a victim of the system. He is sitting in prison today, 15 years on a mandatory minimum for armed robbery. He had no weapon, he stole nothing, he had no priors. Your story helps me to help him. I will fight your fight, I no longer ignore the inhumanities that go on in our prisons, and as a mother I am determined to be heard.
    I have already been invited to help make changes in our county. Would you tell your story to our newly formed Smart Justice Advisory Council?
    I pray for you every day, and I hope the Falcons understand what they have in you.

    1. Dear Kate,
      I too had no experience with incarceration until my boyfriend, who was a marine, in the national guard, and a proud voter and citizen of this country went to jail this past February. He was diagnosed last fall with PTSD and bipolar and has several OUI's. After his diagnosis last fall he was doing great, working full time and getting the help and medication he needed. Unfortunately in February, he had a relapse. I would love to help fight the prison inhumanities. His trial will be next February, maybe, if everything stays on schedule. He will have been in jail for a year. He is in the infirmary because of the medication he is on. The room holds a maximum of ten people. They are supposed to go outside 2 times a week for 45 minutes. Most weeks he doesn't get out at all. Eight months in a small room with no fresh air - it's inhumane - even dogs get to go outside every day. They have not allowed me to visit him because when everything happened last February I had a panic attack and said I wanted to break him free. I've been sent to the hospital twice for panic attacks since this whole ordeal happened. I have no criminal background. I'm a mom with two children who has had traffic violations, that's it. Your story Kate, stirs up many emotions in me.....

  10. I just came back to reread. This struck me most and seems it should be a relevant reminder to yourself today.

    "So today, in this very moment, I did it. I won. I accomplished what was at one point unobtainable. I persevered. I worked hard. I gave it my all. I am unbroken. I"

    Unboken...Free <3

  11. Brian, Can you let us know how you are doing and what's happening in your life?