This is peewee, high school, college and, for eleven seasons, the NFL.
Brooking signed with Dallas on February 28, agreeing to leave Atlanta for the first time, on any permanent basis, ever. Such relationships are rare in these days of free agency and rampant trades, which might explain the extraordinary going away party held for Brooking on Saturday night at Georgia Tech's Wardlaw Center.
The event, called "It only takes a spark...," invited friends, family members and former teammates to honor the 33 year-old's "reknown commitment to Atlanta both on and off the field;" it was emceed by Falcons and Georgia Tech radio broadcaster Wes Durham, and included speakers ranging from Brooking's first youth coach Carl McKnight to his current (and former) coach Wade Phillips.
Additionally, Brooking was honored via video message by Garth Brooks and Newt Gingrich.
The event was organized in part (fittingly) by Brooking's Children's Foundation, which was founded in 2003.