By Rosemary Pollock
The Result of Turley's Righteous Rockwell-like Rage
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -- Kyle Turley was surrounded by an overflow crowd
that gathered for his weekly radio show at Deanie's Seafood restaurant in
Bucktown, Louisiana. They wanted to hear his side of the story and take up a
collection in a bucket-sized trash can that was labeled "Kyle Turley's
Defense Fund." It was a story that has been told before about Kyle, on the
football field, in the class room and in Turley's personal life. "This is
not a thing about me being a bully or being a showboat," Turley said. "I'm
not out there to intentionally hurt anyone."
Turley was ejected from the Saints' game last week when he ripped the helmet
off an opposing player's head and flung it in the air. Some people saw the
actions of a raving lunatic but John Turley, Kyle's father, saw his son
spotting another bully. Damien Robinson, the Jets defensive back had latched
onto the facemask of Saints' quarterback Aaron Brooks and was twisting his
helmet as if contemplating decapitation. "I was in my chair cheering him
on," said John Turley. "I know that his grandmother was cheering him on,
too." Familiar with the situation, Turley recalled Kyle's school days.
"You need to come and get your son," came the call in 1982 from Kyle's
elementary school principal. John Turley listened as the principal explained
that Kyle had been fighting with a second-grade classmate. As they left the
school, John turned to his son and said, "So tell me what really happened."
Kyle explained that the school bully was picking on another kid and Kyle
took it upon himself to protect the boy. "Good for you son," replied his
John Turley is the Grant County Sheriff's Department's point man on drug
raids and Theodore Turley, Kyle's great-great-great-grandfather, was driven
out of Missouri and helped Brigham Young set up a Mormon community. "It took
a tough critter in those days to get tarred and feathered not once but twice
and still recover," John Turley said. "That's the type of stock Kyle comes
The Saints' game was the latest incident for the 6-foot-5, 300-pound
26-year-old Turley, but not the most significant in this life. Kelly Turley
sought sole custody of their 19-month-old daughter and a restraining order
against Kyle when the couple began a bitter divorce and separation. "I think
his divorce definitely has played a part in what you've seen on the field,"
said his mother, Kathy Turley. "This is how he's taking it out. He thought
he had everything--the perfect marriage, the perfect job, the perfect
life--and he ended up with nothing. The divorce threw him for a loop."
Coach Jim Haslett came to Turley's defense after last week's game, when
Turley was fined $25,000 and was required do undergo counseling. "He is
extremely compassionate about many things that effect our community,"
Haslett said. "These are things people do not see, and these are the things
people need to realize about Kyle."
The Mad Man
New Orleans LA Times-Picayune 12Nov01 S2
By Josh Peter:Staff writer, The Times-Picayune
His dad says not much has changed since the second grade: Kyle Turley is still taking up for friends and picking fights with bullies.