RedBlacks hopeful will always keep his father in his heart

RedBlacks hopeful Travis Brown does some stretches during practice in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 17,...

RedBlacks hopeful Travis Brown does some stretches during practice in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 17, 2014. (Tony Caldwell/QMI Agency)

TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:13 PM ET

OTTAWA - Travis Brown wears inked-in words all over his arms to remind him of his dad, a football coaching legend who meant everything to him -- and to a lot of other people.

A defensive co-ordinator with the Fresno State Bulldogs, Dan Brown died Friday, March 13, 2009 -- killed by a brain tumour.

"From a young age, kids always have Superman or Batman," says Travis, a 6-foot-1, 236-lbs., linebacker who is trying to win a roster spot with the Ottawa RedBlacks. "It was never really that for me. I never really watched cartoons or superhero movies. Really, my hero was my dad. He always had great advice, he never drank, never smoked, never did any of that stuff. He was just a great role model.

"I committed to Fresno State because he was there. I had opportunities to play at USC, Oregon -- all the big-time schools. But I chose Fresno State because I wanted to be coached by him.

"There are still tears to this day. My tradition has been before a game, I'll pull a picture of my dad out on my iPhone and gaze into it for a couple of minutes. I always go to the goalpost and sit under it. Before he passed, he told my mom he'd always be under the goalpost waiting for me. It's a tradition I'm going to carry with me forever."


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