Jimmy GrahamThe New Orleans Saints have a tight end named Jimmy Graham, and I think he qualifies as the apex badass.
Here's the story. When he was nine, his mother shipped him off to live with his stepfather. After a short time, his stepfather demanded the $98 a month in child support his birth father was paying. She refused, so his stepfather took him to Social Services and left him.
His mother went and got him, but two years later, when he was 11, his mother told him to get in the car because they were going somewhere. Where they were going was a group home for orphans and juvenile delinquents, where she left him.
I can't even type that without my head exploding in anger.
He was the youngest kid in the home, and after a few months, a group of older kids beat him senseless. He called his mom and begged her to come get him.
She hung up on him.
He had been there for nine months when his mom finally came and got him, but her new boyfriend beat him up, too.
Eventually, he met a woman in his church, finally opened up about what was happening to him, and he moved in with her and her daughter. That started a path that eventually went to the NFL, and it's one of the most amazing success stories I've ever heard.
Here's a link to a video (seven minutes) where he tells his story, and it's incredible. He did an interview on the Jim Rome show this week, and he said it all came down to this: "Life is tough, but I'm tougher."
Hell, yes, you are.