Meamber Comes Home to Husky Stadium a New Man, Likes What He Sees

The former UW inside linebacker and captain has put his life and health in order.
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Tim Meamber showed up at Husky Stadium last week to watch University of Washington spring football practice, something that used to involve him, the last time 37 years ago.

Meamber, 58, was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection at inside linebacker, a Husky co- captain, an integral part of an 11-1 team that beat Oklahoma and Brian Bosworth in the Orange Bowl, and later an NFL player with the Minnesota Vikings.

In the past 14 months, he's probably accomplished a lot more meaningful stuff than all of that.

Battling years of substance abuse that took everything from him, Meamber lived in a van with a dog in rural Arlington, Washington, just trying to survive. He looked gaunt and his words was nearly indecipherable. He lived off a state disability check.

Since his difficult plight became public, the former Husky defensive leader has moved into a rental home with the help of a GoFundMe account set up by concerned UW fans, got married to a woman equally distressed about his situation, regained his real estate license and rediscovered good health.

Sitting in the warm sunshine radiating down on Husky Stadium, in a place he hadn't visited for some time, Meamber looked robust and sounded encouraged about life, even well into middle age. He wore a new Husky sweatshirt.

"I'm still feeling the pain of being on this field," he said, not complaining. "I'll feel it every day now for the rest of my life. It's kind of a badge of honor."

As he looked over the current team, Meamber noticed Oklahoma transfer cornerback Bookie Radley-Hiles right away. He liked the way the newcomer carried himself, his confident body language.

He saw that starter Jackson Sirmon wore No. 43, one digit higher than his jersey so long ago.

Meamber spotted another Joe Kelly playing next to Sirmon, junior Edefuan Ulofoshio, who greatly impressed him.

"He looks really good," the old linebacker said. "He's got quick feet. He's aggressive. He moves with a little extra out there. I like that."

Meamber pretty much described himself with that observation, too, both as a UW football player and a man who's overcome a series of life obstacles.

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