The Trials and Tribulations of Marquise Goodwin

3 May 2020 Opinion Philadelphia Eagles

Most people are either running to something or running from something. Marquise Goodwin has been running his whole life. Running has taken him to the Mount Rushmore of heights. Running at the Olympics, posting the fifth fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine, destroying defensive backs for deep touchdowns in the NFL but, for Marquise Goodwin, it’s a story worth telling that he’s even still running at all.

From a young age, Marquise had to grow up dramatically fast. For his family, Marquise sought to take care of them. Making decisions that most parents would struggle to make, seeking to provide income while his mother was a single parent, raising two children is hard enough but Marquise saw himself of the man of the house, the “muscle of the house,” all while maintaining his status as an elite speed runner. A father that never spent time with his children, never attending a football game, a track meet, even so much as a birthday party. From a young age though, Marquise found joy in running. His mother, Tamina Goodwin, said from a young age Marquise challenged the neighborhood children, twice his age, to foot races while barefoot and would “dust them.” However, Marquise considers himself to be blessed just to be able to run at all because his sister, Deja Goodwin (10 months his younger), has never walked a day in her life.

Deja, in her own right, has defied the odds to get to this point in her life as well. Born three months pre-mature, Deja was not expected to see life beyond six months of her birth. In addition to being born pre-mature Deja was born with Cerebral Palsy, a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. Throughout her life, Marquise has been the constant for her. In a 2016 interview with ESPN, Deja said “He’s the best brother in the world because he helps me. He used to feed me all the time, bathe me, change my diaper, all of that.” Since 1991 Marquise has been in a fatherhood role because of his love and affection for his sister. Setting him up for the future that he always dreamt of.

However, his running led him to something that has blessed him to this day. While running track at the University of Texas, Marquise was introduced to a woman by the name of Morgan Snow. A track star herself at the University of Texas, Marquise took a liking to Miss Snow as they began a casual relationship to the point that they decided to meet up to begin a possible dating relationship. When Morgan met up with Marquise for the first time, she was blown away at the fact that Marquise had her meet his mother before even taking her out. At first pushed away by the thought of Marquise trying to arrange a marriage by meeting his mother before even formally dating, Marquise said “she spent too much time with me, she got to feeling me.” And feeling him was exactly what happened but in addition to his go-getter attitude and comedic personality, his relationship with Deja caught the attention of Morgan. Deja commented one day “go tell Pookie (Deja’s nickname for Marquise) to give me a kiss.” To which Morgan’s reply was “Don’t be stealing my kisses from my man!” Deja’s joking reply was simple, “he was mine before he was yours.” As most happy couples and accepting partners do Marquise and Morgan’s loving relationship culminated into a marriage in February of 2016. However, their journey into parenthood would not take a road often traveled.

As a young engaged couple at The University of Texas, Marquise and Morgan had an unexpected pregnancy that was lost at eight weeks. Although a tumultuous journey, the couple were as excited as ever to announce Morgan’s second pregnancy, a boy, that would’ve been named Marquise Jr. A total of eighteen weeks into Morgan’s pregnancy with the heir to the Goodwin name without issue. The nineteenth week anatomy scan is happening without issue, until their doctor discovered that Morgan suffered from an incompetent cervix. An incompetent cervix, or insufficient cervix, occurs when weak cervical tissue causes or contributes to premature birth or the loss of an otherwise healthy pregnancy. Their doctor told them that there was a 50/50 chance that Morgan would be able to carry their child to term. The couple put this curse in God’s hands and believed that they would be blessed with a healthy new-born son. On November 11, 2017, before the 49ers’ week 10 matchup with the New York Giants, tragedy struck. The amniotic sack holding their unborn son was protruding, at which point Marquise called an ambulance. Once delivered to the hospital, the doctor delivered the devastating news that Morgan would have to deliver their child prematurely. Their child had been lost. Fear had culminated into the ultimate heartbreak, Marquise and Morgan Goodwin sat in a hospital room shocked and saddened at the loss of their child. While spending time with their lost soul, Morgan told Marquise that he had to play in that days’ game. As heartbroken as they were that their child would not get to see his father touch an NFL field, Marquise apprehensively agreed and made his way Levi Stadium. Coach Kyle Shanahan and all his teammates completely understood if Marquise didn’t want to suit up due to the tragedy that he had experienced but, just an hour before game time and final decisions had to be made, Marquise was active. To this point the 49ers had not won a game in the season but the team had a new angel watching over them that day.

“3rd and 8 from the 17, Bethard back to throw. Wide open for the speedster, Goodwin and Goodwin is gone! A 49er touchdown!” Goodwin’s first touchdown of the regular season. Morgan and their lost son watched their loving husband and father for the first and only time together from a hospital room. When reaching the goal line, Marquise immediately fell to his knees and broke down because even with a heavy heart and the weight of the world on his shoulders, Goodwin knew this one was for Junior. In an interview with ESPN, Marquise communicated that he and Morgan had not given up hope and said that they would have “as many as the good lord blesses us with” when referencing having children. A first blessing would come to their home on February 19th of this year.

Marquise and Morgan welcomed their first child, a daughter named Marae, into their home and into their hearts. After all the tragedy, after all the heartbreak, after all of the hardships Marquise had to endure he could finally take to social media and post a picture of his newborn baby girl and say “I’m a #GirlDad.” As rumors started to fly and the draft got underway, a blessing for our fanbase came to fruition.

Ian Rapoport reports “#49ers WR Marquise Goodwin traded to the #Eagles, per me and @MikeGarafolo.” A swap of sixth round picks and a certain Olympian was coming to Philadelphia. The speed we have been craving, with an underdog and heart wrenching story that would rival that of ’85 Villanova team, Marquise was traded to our Eagles. A hardworking, blue collar, earn what you got family man, Olympian and speedster, welcome to Philly, Marquise. We will all be rooting for you.