But the powerfully built tailback openly represents UAB, the school he attended from 2013-14 before the university pulled the plug on the football program.
Howard met the Chicago media on Friday decked out in UAB shorts and with a #FreeUAB green bracelet around his right wrist.
During a brief question and answer session following Day 1 of rookie minicamp, the first-year running back bitterly recalled UAB’s decision to cancel the 2015 season, which forced him to relocate to Indiana.
“I already had a big chip on my shoulder because UAB was my only offer coming out of high school,” Howard said. “It just made my chip even bigger. But I definitely wanted to play well for UAB and put on for UAB because their program shut down. They just took it from us like it was nothing.”
“I played every game with the bracelet. I don’t take it off.”
It was in Toronto during a frigid All-Star Weekend where Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat first learned he had a medical issue that would end up sidelining him for the rest of the season. And it was in Toronto on Sunday where their season ended, bringing the pending outcome of an unfortunate situation to the organization’s forefront.
Bautista and Odor were ejected after the brawl, as were Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Texas bench coach Steve Buechele.
Umpires needed about 10 minutes to restore order, and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder with the next pitch when the game resumed, which caused both teams to leave their dugouts again, though this time no punches were thrown.
This would allow the organization to replace Bosh when his contract hypothetically comes off in the summer of 2017.
It’s a terrible situation to be in, but one the Heat have to responsibly investigate with Bosh as the summer unfolds.
If Bosh were to be cleared by Heat doctors and he had a recurrence of his condition, it would not only be potentially life-threatening but also reset the clock on the yearlong medical retirement process. Already, this appears like it may negatively impact three seasons and another setback could make it worse, not to mention the unthinkable issue of Bosh’s health possibly being at risk.
Before the finale of the three-game series between the teams on Sunday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon addressed the comments made by Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke that “anytime somebody like Arrieta hits somebody, you’ve got to assume automatically that one didn’t just get away.”
“I think Jake walked Locke on four consecutive pitches,” Maddon said. “I really don’t think that Jake was pitching around Locke. My point is, it can happen at any time, that a really exceptional pitcher can lose command of his pitches.