Community steps up, pours out love for former Houston Oilers player

By: N.L. Preston


HOUSTON – He thanks the good Lord up above, the community who’s rushed in to help and the reporters who’ve brought his story to light, Bobby Simon has plenty to be thankful for, and he’s expressing it all through a river of “happy” tears.

The ex-NFL player is overwhelmed by the love and support he’s receiving after his story, which was featured first in African-American News&Issues, has touched hearts from all around.

AANI released “Never Giving Up: The Bobby Simon Story” in our print and online publications in December, and afterward, other media outlets reached out, wanting to help.

KHOU 11 News Sports Extra, with our help, connected with “Mr. Bobby” and aired his story on the station’s weekend program.

The combined coverage from AANI and KHOU got things moving — swiftly.

The story of the former Houston Oilers player is an emotional one, highlighting the ups and downs of the man struggling to recover after losing his wife to cancer and his foot to diabetes – just days apart- while fighting to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Neither the city, the government or the NFL provided any sought assistance for Simon, and his life became a day to day challenge of trying to keep his head above water, while keeping his spirit intact.

Simon, a graduate of Grambling State University, was drafted to the Oilers in 1976. He was living out his NFL dream when it all came to an abrupt halt.

The stage was the historic Houston Astrodome and Simon was tackling Dallas Cowboys legend Tony Dorsett when his foot got caught in an old pitching mound. He spent more than a year on the injured reserve list before eventually being released from the team.

Fast forward to one of the worst storms Texas has ever seen and the death of his wife, the aging athlete found himself alone – the couple never had children – and in the fight of his life.

Simon bounced around from shelters and temporary homes before eventually finding permanent housing at a senior living apartment community in southwest Houston. Grateful to have a roof over his head, his focus was on getting mobile. For the last two years, he has been forced to scoot around in a busted wheelchair, and even though he’s filled out mountains of paperwork and visited multiple doctors, no promises have been kept. With his arthritis getting worse by the day, he can barely get around.

Leslie Larose-Nash, owner of Leslie’s Furniture in Missouri City, saw Simon’s story, the tiny mattress he was sleeping on and his clothes stacked neatly on the floor. She knew exactly what he needed.


She handpicked a new queen-sized bedroom suite, with sturdy top-of-the-line mattresses and dressers for his clothing, in addition to giving him a new living room group. The black-owned family operated business then surprised him with a delivery.

“We love putting smiles on people’s faces and Mr. Bobby’s smile was priceless. There’s nothing like being a blessing to others,” Larose-Nash said.

Dozens of letters have poured in, offering help to provide food, clothing, supplements and wheelchairs. A team, led by Oilers legend Elvin Bethea, is sorting through it all.

While Simon still has a way to go before walking again, his trust is soaring and his Faith in God, which has never left, remains strong. There still is one void – his wife.

“I miss her,” Simon told AANI. “I wish she was here to enjoy what is happening today.”

AANI will provide more updates as they become available.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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