Standing firm on the foundation he received at home, Nick Bell exuded strength, both on the field and off the field, and was considered wise beyond his years. Linda Bell, founder of the Nick Bell Mentoring Memorial Foundation, states that everyone who knows my son speaks of him in high regard. I have yet to engage in a dialogue about Nick where someone isn't praising who he was as a man. Respectful, Thoughtful, Confident, Kind, Determined, Peaceful, Committed. These are just a few of the many words used over the years to describe Nick Bell who was considered a leader in the classroom, on the field, and in the community. He was dedicated to lending a helping hand wherever needed and mentoring children - something he promised me, he would continue to do in both his personal and professional life. In the wake of Nick's untimely death, I knew that I had to pick up the ball where it lay, and push forward with Nick's unfinished agenda.
-Linda Bell, Mother of Nick Bell
Mississippi State and Alabama remember Nick Bell
AU #23 RB Onterio McCalebb runs ball 2nd QTR. Miss St #36 DL Nick Bell pursues, at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL, Saturday, Sept 12, 2009.(The Huntsville Times/ Glenn Baeske)
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Inside the glass walls of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building is a grand foyer with a bronze Bulldog perched on a marble slab.
Get past his stoic stare, and an elaborately carved table to the right stands out. On it sits a small stack of student newspapers from Friday's edition of The Reflector.
A headline stripped across the front page reads, "Remembering No. 36."
Nick Bell is pictured just below the words that tell the all-too short story of his young life and his losing bout with cancer. Bell died last Tuesday at the age of 20. The full-color image shows the 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive lineman dressed in a maroon Bulldogs uniform full of energy, strength and determination during a 24-12 win against Georgia on Sept. 25.
Bell was at the height of his life.
Now the Bulldogs will honor him by dedicating every minute of every game to their fallen teammate, who also touched the lives of some at Alabama.
Mississippi State, which takes the field for the first time since his death when it plays Alabama on Saturday, will wear patches to honor Bell, and some players will wear his jersey for the rest of the season.
"For our guys, you play with a little heavy heart," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. "They're going to move on a little bit every day. They'll put it behind them, but it's certainly not going to be out of their minds. In a situation like that, I don't know how it becomes motivating to anybody except for the fact maybe the lessons Nick taught you in life and trying to live your life to the fullest."
Many of the Bulldogs spent their idle week traveling across a four-lane highway that links Mississippi and Alabama. They went to Birmingham to visit Bell, a Bessemer native.
On Saturday, they attended his funeral.
"It was just emotional, just sad, the whole thing about it," Bulldogs linebacker Chris White said. "We've all dedicated the rest of the season and the rest of the practices to Nick Bell. We just want to keep playing hard for him because we know that's what he would want us to do."
Back in Tuscaloosa, Alabama defensive end Marcell Dareus shared some of his memories of Bell. They had forged a friendship that spawned in youth football leagues.
The bond was so close the two would speak before each football game and bet on who could get more tackles or make more plays.
They would play video football games, though Dareus said they weren't very good. Bell was always Mississippi State and Dareus said he always won with Alabama.
Sometimes they would wrestle, "just act like kids," Dareus said.
Their relationship also became a welcomed escape from the rigors of major college football.
"We didn't have to think about football," Dareus said. "We didn't have to talk about football. Football wasn't even in our conversations."
Ironically, football will forever link Dareus and Bell's Mississippi State teammates to their fallen friend as they share the memory of a promising life.
"Of course they'll want to dedicate this game to Nick," Dareus said. "I'm dedicating this game to Nick. I'm going to dedicate the rest of the season to Nick. I'm going to go out and do the best I can."
By Izzy Gould | email@example.com
Original news article click here
"A Word From Nick bell"
Poem written at nick bell's home going celebration
by bill Buckley, msu chaplain, 2010
A Word From Nick Bell
Your word is in my heart like a fire,
Indeed I cannot hold it in.
My voice will praise you all the day long,
I know I will never taste death again.
Let the high praise of God be in my mouth,
And a two-edged sword in my hand.
Beside the King of Kings and His white horse
I will forever take my stand…
To fight, and conquer, to rule and to reign,
‘Til every enemy of Love is dead.
Darkness, pain and hurt and fear,
Your days are numbered for my Lord is the Head.
Now that I see you face to face,
My God, my King, my Savior, and Friend.
Now I see clearly your eyes like fire,
I am your purpose…it’s me you will send…
To sound the war cry for all soldiers of the cross,
To raise up an army to go to the lost,
To wipe every tear from every mamma’s face,
That caskets and funerals will no longer have place.
On your side they called my name Nick Bell,
On this side I’ll be known for shuttin’ down hell.
Once and for all the sorrow you bring,
We will shout forever, “Hey death, where is your sting?
So if you wake in the night from your sleep with a start,
A six three frame you see there in the dark,
Have no fear and you wipe that tear,
It’s just me, Nick Bell, drivin’ out fear…
‘Til Jesus is all that our eyes will see,
His love and grace for eternity.
Don’t weep for me, look toward the sky,
You’ll see me there, the King and I!