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Pro Football Player From Pompano Beach Weathers Hardship in Home

Where do you start with the Tyrone Carter story? Probably in Pompano Beach, where he was one of five children in a three-bedroom home, raised by his grandmother because his parents had drug problems. A child of his own by his junior year in high school, then another by another woman after he followed a football scholarship offer to the University of Minnesota. And during that same time as a student, his wife April. After Carter was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004, the family built a home in Wellington and were supposed to live happily after.

But this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story tells of how that vanished in the moments after April Carter crashed an ATV and was paralyzed.

If all that's not enough, Carter also had a brother Tony who during the Steelers' march to the 2006 Super Bowl didn't report to authorities to serve a six-month prison sentence for driving on a revoked license.

After the Steelers' victory over Seattle, (Tony Carter turned himself in to Florida authorities. Broward County Circuit Judge Stanton S. Kaplan increased the sentence to five years.

At the time, Tony Carter said he would do it all again. But then, in February, his little brother and the Steelers beat Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, not far from where Tony was starting his fourth year in prison.

"Tell me about it," Tony, now on a work release program, said "And they were right there in Tampa. Hardee Correction was, like, a 30-minute drive from the stadium. I talked to my brother before the game, after the game, then my family -- I was like, 'Oh my God. I never thought they'd go again.'

The family has been tragedy-free for long enough to appreciate the life in Wellington. Carter's mother is living with them. Brother Tony is out of prison and on a work release program. The home is wheelchair-equipped for April Carter, who raises five children and occasionally joins her husband on a bass-fishing trip to Lake Okeechobee. But despite the current tranquility, Carter has an understandably jaded view of his South Florida youth.
"Florida, there was nothing but negativity there. You either sold drugs, ran the streets or partied," he said. "Going to Minnesota, it was a different part of life. People pushed you, wanted to see you be successful."

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Thomas Francis

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