Ex-NFL player Brian Holloway was relaxing over Labor Day weekend at his home in Lutz, Fla., when his son reportedly noticed on Twitter that something bad was apparently happening at his other house in upstate Stephentown, N.Y., the night of Aug. 31.
For the next few hours, Holloway was able to watch his house be torn apart live via social media updates posted by some of the as many as 400 teens who allegedly broke into his house to throw a raucous, destructive party, according to the Associated Press.
The tale of that debauched night and the resulting firestorm have gone viral as parents and kids alike question what would drive a group of youths to wreak such havoc on an unsuspecting homeowner.
But the story of just who Brian Holloway is has not gotten quite as much attention, though it’s worth taking a moment to consider the life of the man who was targeted by the hard-partying teens.
To start with, Holloway was an NFL offensive lineman for the New England Patriots (1981-86) and the then-Los Angeles Raiders (1987-88), a three-time pro-bowler who played in Super Bowl XX, which he and the Pats lost to the Chicago Bears. Born in Omaha, Neb., in 1959, he went attended Stanford University before being selected in the first round of the 1981 NFL draft.
He raised his two sons in Stephentown, but moved to Lutz in 2007 once they had grown up and left the family home, according to Yahoo! Sports. The upstate New York home, which he bought early on in his NFL career, is currently on the market for $1.5 million, according to the Albany Times-Union newspaper.
Since leaving professional football, Holloway has stayed busy, working as a business consultant setting up a website touting himself as “America’s #1 Motivational Team Builder.” The site serves as a portal for professionals seeking to hire him to deliver motivational speeches to corporations and other organizations. Companies from General Motors to Best Buy have enlisted him to speak to their employees.
Dee Murray, a contracts negotiator at Apple, was one of many people who recorded audio testimonials about Holloway’s speaking engagements that are now posted on his professional website.
“I sat through a session today with Brian. It was amazing. I learned to not be afraid to have the hard conversations -- to look inward -- and it’s going to help me with my career and it’s going to help my team. I believe that,” Murray said, echoing the comments of the other folks who recorded reviews of Holloway speeches.
“You think you’re sitting around, you’ve got A.D.D. or O.C.D., you better get on your knees and thank God for that. That you have the ability to handle 20 things at once,” he says in a video of part of one of his lectures posted on his website.
“When your customers look at you, all of a sudden you’re not just a product. You’re a service … You’re a promise. You’re a commitment to stand with them and help them win. That’s what playmakers do. That’s what we’re for.”
Check out a video of an excerpt of that speech, titled “The Red Jacket -- Commitment, Character, Integrity,” by pressing play below:
Holloway -- who also harbors plans to start a new company, according to the Times-Union -- has built a career on using his experience in the NFL as a model for executives and professionals to follow in the workplace, often espousing character traits like honor and faith.
But on Aug. 31, Holloway received a text from his son -- who attends at the University of Southern Florida -- letting him know that a party was being thrown at his Stephentown home by hundreds of teenagers who seem not to have learned the lessons about personal character he touts.
That night, hundreds of teenagers reportedly showed up at Holloway’s New York home and threw a massive, alcohol-fueled party, punching holes in walls, urinating on carpets, spraying graffiti and more, the New York Daily News reported. The total damage to the home was estimated to total more than $20,000. New York state troopers busted the party, but no arrests were made as the attendees were able to evade them.
And now the Daily News reports that parents of some of the teens who trashed Holloway’s home may sue him for revealing their offspring’s identities on a website he created called helpmesave300.com, where about 100 youths’ names were listed.
The website advertises an event at Holloway’s home that he’s calling “The Picnic’ Family Reunion Of Champions,” which invites “the 300” teens to come out and “Please help! Come out and help set up, fix up, bring food, and picnic stuff, so we can honor these real HEROS. I'm here. Come now. Take a stand for your future. This is called redemption.”
Click play below to watch a News 10 video explaining that “he isn’t seeking punishment but rather guidance and help for those responsible” for breaking into and desecrating his home, which he says has hosted guests including “some of the Kennedys” and civil rights hero Rosa Parks.
“The most important thing is saving these kids -- saving the lives of these 300 kids,” he tells the station in the video. “You know, I believe in these kids and I believe in great dreams, and I believe in turning around young people, and I believe that the best is ahead.”