Former OU QB Charles Thompson Writes To His Younger Self
Just remember, “in the end it is all going to be OK.”
As a young boy growing up in Lawton, Oklahoma, you have no idea of the highs and lows coming your way. You will be able to handle all the pressures, obstacles and consequences from even poor choices you make. God will see to it.
The jealousy you have watching friends grow up in a two parent household is not the end of the world. You were raised by a single mom. She will struggle to provide for you and your siblings. But listen closely to her words when she tells you, “things don’t come easy” and “you must make do with what you have.” You begin to understand you must work harder and your determination and focus must be unwavering. It may not make sense to you now, but you learn to survive on less. It’s all for a future purpose!
From the age of six, your childhood dream is to play football for OU and coach Barry Switzer. The excitement and joy you experience now when you go out to play youth tackle football while wearing a white T-shirt marked with “OU number six” on 23rd St. in Lawton will be the same joy and excitement 12 years later running down the ramps at several sold out stadiums. Your dream comes true!! You will play for Coach Switzer, even millions will watch you on TV nationwide.
It’s hard to fathom with all this success, the dark days that are coming. The embarrassment, disappointment and shame you will experience being known as quarterback Charles Thompson who has been arrested. Your picture be on the cover of Sports Illustrated showing you handcuffed and shackled in the orange jail suit. I can’t even begin to prepare you for the mental anguish and the times you will want to give up on life. Charles you will be sentenced to federal prison for 18 months on a drug conviction. But Charles, I remind you again, “in the end it’s all going to be OK.”
Many people will never forget or forgive you and it will be through this dark time in your life you realize this is a key turning point that shapes your path. You decide to begin to change and keep pushing through life‘s heartaches. It’s not easy, but you will stay the course and create a legacy only meant for you.
You will meet a young lady while in college who will stick by you through most of these troubled times and you both will soon share the love for three sons who will choose to follow in your footsteps athletically. There’s an indescribable joy watching them excel through their youth, high school, college and professional football careers.
Charles as you grow into a man, you rebuild trust with many parents and athletes, training quarterbacks around the country. It’s a trust you don’t take lightly. You are able to impart wisdom not only about the game of football, but about the real game of life. Young players with only a football and a dream will learn from your mistakes. You’re able to show love to the person and a player because of the man who showed those qualities to you, Coach Switzer.
You will be grateful for the chance to right a wrong, not only with Coach but with family friends and many who love the game. The lifelong prayer in your heart will be that others truly will see you did learn from your mistakes and your desire to make a difference is what drives you to wake up every day.
See Charles, truly know, “In the End it IS ALL Going to BE OK.