Certainly, it was a special moment for all involved.
Doug Marrone, a Bronx native and graduate of Lehman High in the borough, stood on the hallowed ground at Yankee Stadium.
To one side, his current Syracuse Orange football team that he's led to a bowl game for the 2nd time in three seasons. To his other, a group of young football players from the "Bronx Colts", listening intently to what the native of their neighborhood had to say.
"When I look at them, I see part of my life going by" Marrone said of the Bronx children, who were no older than 13 or 14 years at the oldest. "I was once just like these kids, then I look to my right and see the Syracuse football team and I think to myself that was a part of my life that I look back and think of how fortunate I was to play for Coach MacPherson and he really helped me out along with the rest of my teammates. Then, all of the sudden, you take in the venue and say okay I'm standing here in the middle of Yankee Stadium....Of all things I've probably done in my life, I would say, from a standpoint of sports that it's probably, for me, the greatest moment personally because it's life come full circle" Marrone continued.
Marrone gave sound and inspiring advice to both his team and the kids from the Bronx. Despite their youth, you could tell, the kids who also are growing up in the shadow of Yankee Stadium took stock in what Marrone had to say.
"It inspires us, to keep going on with our dreams" said 13-year old football player Raheem Jacobs of the Bronx Colts.
So yes, it has come full circle for Marrone. The man who grew up loving the Yankees (and still does) from the Bronx, watching his grandfather usher at the old Yankee Stadium. Now Marrone, who has earned the position of rejuvenating the Syracuse University Football Program, can give back to a community that helped shape him as the leader he is today.
And who knows, of the dozens of Bronx kids in attendance, maybe one of them--even Jacobs, could be the next Bronx success story.