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Old 08-09-2007   #1
Wolf
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Default Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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Snubbed in NFL draft, Abbate accepts Texans' unusual challenge

By Steve Hummer
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/09/07

Houston ó- A lot of the particulars of the Jon Abbate football ode have changed this season. His team. His position. His payoff. But one theme that has marked it as special remains the same.

As he has done in every game for the past year, Abbate plans to begin the fourth quarter of Saturday's Houston Texans-Chicago Bears preseason game by holding up five fingers. Wherever football takes him, it's still about remembering his younger brother, Luke. It has been that way since Valentine's Day 2006, when he died in an automobile accident on his way home from lacrosse practice. He was only 15.

Five was Luke's number at Harrison High. Every time Jon extends all the fingers on his right hand, he figures it brings his brother back to life just a little bit.

It's the same gesture that bonded the Wake Forest fan base last season. As victory followed victory, it became an intimate part of the Demon Deacons' surprising story. Word spread, and the crowd at Groves Stadium joined Abbate in thrusting five fingers heavenward. By the time the Deacons made the ACC championship game in Jacksonville, even the Georgia Tech people rose and joined in the tribute to begin the fourth quarter, one of the most memorable scenes of a 9-6 Wake Forest win that Abbate dominated with his 15 tackles.

Jon Abbate has gone from a high school star at Harrison to fire-breathing linebacker at Wake Forest to an undrafted long shot in the NFL. Still, even as he plays a bit role Saturday, Houston Texans fans will have read or heard plenty about the five-finger salute before the game. You don't bury that kind of story down on the depth chart. They, too, are invited to join in, should they choose.
http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/pr...09/abbate.html
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Old 08-09-2007   #2
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I would hope they choose.

That kind of spirit and determination is contagious.
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Old 08-09-2007   #3
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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As he has done in every game for the past year, Abbate plans to begin the fourth quarter of Saturday's Houston Texans-Chicago Bears preseason game by holding up five fingers.
Ok, attention Bullpen...lets make it happen.
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Old 08-09-2007   #4
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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Originally Posted by TEXANS84 View Post
Ok, attention Bullpen...lets make it happen.
Bullpen and everyone else who is still around at the beginning of the 4th quarter. If there is one thing this team still needs, it is spirit and fire from the fans.
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Old 08-09-2007   #5
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I hope he does well.
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Old 08-09-2007   #6
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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Originally Posted by TEXANS84 View Post
Ok, attention Bullpen...lets make it happen.
I swapped tickets with someone, so I will be sitting 3 rows behind the Texans bench though if things are like they are in the past, more on the defensive players' side.

I'll try to make that happen behind the bench.
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Old 08-09-2007   #7
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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Originally Posted by Texans_Chick View Post
I swapped tickets with someone, so I will be sitting 3 rows behind the Texans bench though if things are like they are in the past, more on the defensive players' side.

I'll try to make that happen behind the bench.
We'll be sitting a few rows back behind the Bears' bench. Nothing like doing it in enemy territory!! ha ha

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Old 08-09-2007   #8
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

Great kid... great story. He's the type of guy you build a team around.
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Old 08-09-2007   #9
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

Keep 5 alive. We'll be representing up with the goat herders in the 500's.
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Old 08-09-2007   #10
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
Keep 5 alive. We'll be representing up with the goat herders in the 500's.
HAHA! WE 600s look down on you lowly 500s!!!!!

At least one person will have up the five in section 648...
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Old 08-09-2007   #11
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES



Quote:
At first, it was a personal gesture and one which he displays to his family in the stands when they come out to the ball game. In support, his teammates picked up on it and then the home crowd at Wake Forest games. Soon, as Wake Forestís success this year caused increased media coverage, the nation also began to know about it.

So now this tale may become a film of his life as proposed by one producer. This may be a good thing to help memorialise Lukeís memory
http://brianleon.com/notes/2007/01/1...become-a-film/
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Old 08-10-2007   #12
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I am bringing my in-laws to the game on Saturday for their 40th Anniversary. They have lived in Austin for decades, but they are from Chicago. Like myself, they will have their hand up.
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Old 08-10-2007   #13
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I will raise my hand from my couch.
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Old 08-10-2007   #14
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

can we raise one and and one finger to the bears the whole rest of the game?
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Old 08-10-2007   #15
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I'd be cool if the whole team did it.
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Old 08-10-2007   #16
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

We will be holding up 5 in the 606
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Old 08-10-2007   #17
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I will be holding up 5 at midnight Maryland time. When the NFLN rebroadcasts the game.

I have also taken the liberty of reposting the original thread on the Texans website BB. I hope that more people pick up on this tradition and the entire stadium shows support.

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Old 08-10-2007   #18
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I've had season tickets to Wake football for the past 5 years. Watching the entire stadium hold up five and give a few minutes of silent tribute was absolutely amazing. Still gives me chills. I know Abbate would appreciate the support.
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Old 08-10-2007   #19
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

I sit on the opposite side of the bullpen in the front row. You know, the shady seats. But anyways, I will tell everyone about this story. Maybe if we start at both ends, somehow it might reach everyone on the lower level in wave-like fashion.

***That would make a good smiley. Some Texans fans doing the wave.***
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Old 08-10-2007   #20
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Default Re: Jon Abbate:MR. WHATEVER IT TAKES

Okay sports fans.

Here's a summary post I wrote about this:

Texans Fans Spread the Word: Raise Five Fingers for Abbate

There is a "Email This" link at the bottom of the entry. With as many people as we have here, if we send it to various talk radio/newspaper folks, and Texans fans we know are going to the game and we tell people sitting around us about it, we can help make this happen.

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