Friends praise Stingley's life

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FOREST PARK, Ill. - Darryl Stingley, paralyzed by one of the most infamous hits in the history of professional football, was remembered Tuesday for the grace with which he accepted his life-altering injury.

The coffin carrying the body of former New England Patriots player Darryl Stingley, who died last week, is carried after funeral services in Forest Park, Ill., on Tuesday.  Associated Press
Associated Press
The coffin carrying the body of former New England Patriots player Darryl Stingley, who died last week, is carried after funeral services in Forest Park, Ill., on Tuesday.

"For almost 30 years, people wanted to hear Darryl curse God or at least curse the man who took his dreams away," said the Rev. Edward C. Brown, Stingley's cousin.

"Darryl was a good man. He didn't stop serving God just because he had a life of suffering and pain. ... He lived a life focused on the future and not on the past."

Stingley, a star receiver with the New England Patriots, was left a quadriplegic after a hit by the Oakland Raiders' Jack Tatum while trying to catch a pass in an exhibition game on Aug. 12, 1978. Stingley's neck was broken, and he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

He died last Thursday at age 55.

An autopsy found bronchial pneumonia, quadriplegia, spinal cord injury and coronary atherosclerosis contributed to his death.

Tuesday's 90-minute funeral service was attended by Stingley's family and friends from his Chicago boyhood, as well as his college and professional football careers.

Before the service, former New England coach Chuck Fairbanks and teammate Mike Haynes praised Stingley as someone who refused to be defined by his injury, and was determined to have a life, be a good father and do things for the community.

COURTS: Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon was arrested for investigation of drunken driving after a trooper stopped him for allegedly speeding.

Moon was stopped in downtown Kirkland, Wash., State Patrol Trooper Courtney Stewart said.

The former Seattle Seahawks quarterback was arrested early Friday, taken to the Kirkland Police Department and later released. His vehicle was impounded, Stewart said.

The case was forwarded to King County prosecutors for possible criminal charges, Stewart said.

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