More tragedy for Argos' Boyd

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:24 PM ET

MONCTON — Tragedy long ago became Cory Boyd’s unwanted companion in life, and it arrived for another horrible visit on Monday afternoon.

The suicide of Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley broad-sided Boyd, who was a best friend of McKinley, a relationship that took root and solidified when they were roommates at the University of South Carolina.

Boyd is the godfather of McKinley’s young son, Keon, and Brittany Boyd, the wife of Cory Boyd, and another friend were with McKinley in the hours before his death in Aurora, Colo., a suburb of Denver.

Brittany Boyd and the friend found McKinley’s body in the master bedroom of his home, his television reportedly turned to the NFL Network.

Cory Boyd is in the Maritimes with his Argonauts teammates for Touchdown Atlantic, but did not take part in contact drills during practice on Wednesday as he recovers from a concussion.

Later, he bravely answered questions from the media, saying that being with his team is where he needs to be now.

“Numb, trying not to think about it,” Boyd said as hundreds of local high school players swarmed the other Argos nearby for autographs.

“It’s sad but at the same time I know I have to be here with my teammates, just to be around comfort. I can’t be in that environment right now. It’s just, uh ... it’s unreal, it was unexpected, and it hurts, it really does.”

McKinley had been depressed since having knee surgery a month ago, telling those around him that “he should just kill himself” because football was all he knew.

Boyd talked to his pal during the Argos’ bye week in August.

“It seemed like he was on the right track, but every day you experience something in life that scares you away, and I think that’s what happened,” Boyd said as he managed to keep his emotions under grip.

“A lot of us, my wife, myself, think back to him saying certain things and were we really listening? It makes you think and it’s something I can’t do right now.

“It will really make me go into a spot where I would not be a good player for my teammates and football would not be anything important to me — and I don’t want to go down that route.”

At the age of 25, Boyd, a man of devout faith, has experienced hell too many times.

Growing up in a housing project in Orange, N.J., Boyd would watch his mother, a single parent, deal drugs.

She was imprisoned and died of a heart attack while behind bars; Boyd, who would not meet his father until years after his birth, was raised by his grandmother.

The shootings of a girlfriend and a cousin also were experienced by Boyd.

Awfully, it is living through those trials that helped steel Boyd for the aftermath of McKinley’s death.

“Right about now, everybody is doing okay for what the circumstances call,” Boyd said when asked about his wife.

“I know that was her first time ever experiencing something like that. I’ve had my fair share so I know where she is at. I told her, if she needs me, just call me.

“I have been there, I have really been there, to the point that you don’t know what life is going to do for you. That’s where my faith kicks in.”

Boyd said McKinley, who was 23 and became a Bronco after Boyd was released by the NFL club in March of 2009, was “full of energy, man ... loved to have fun. Was a caring person. To come from a young guy who had a lot ahead of him, he couldn’t see past that brick wall that was standing right in front of him. Worrying about tomorrow when you still have to live for today.”

Boyd isn’t sure how the next few days will unfold, whether he will attend the funeral, which is scheduled for Monday in Austell, Ga.

But Boyd does know he will be a guide in the life of young Keon McKinley, a father figure that Boyd himself didn’t get to enjoy.

“With life, there is death, and I’m sad the way it had to go down, but I know he is in a better place,” Boyd said.

“No stress about bills, relationships or anything. He can just sit back and look over me and smile and know that I will be there for his child, that was the reason he made me the godfather. Just to be sure he still finishes living his dream through me.

“I want to make sure the little guy is okay, and make sure the family knows I will be there to pick up the slack.

“I owe it to my teammates, to him, to his family and ultimately I owe it to God and just keep pushing forward and try to show a positive mindset.”

terry.koshan@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/koshtorontosun


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