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Special Saturday for FAMU assistant Edwin Pata

Edwin Pierre-Pata hasn't been to a University of Miami football game since the night the Hurricanes honored his slain brother's memory. And the truth is he isn't sure how he's going to feel when he's actually on the field for the next UM football game on Saturday night.

Edwin Pierre-Pata, the older brother of the late Bryan Pata, is now the tight ends coach at Florida A&M "I'm trying to avoid thinking about it," said Pata, now the tight ends coach for the Florida A&M Rattlers (4-0) who take on the 11th-ranked Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at Land Shark Stadium. "I'm trying to see it as just another game, an opportunity for our team to win a football game. But I know it's going to be much more than that.

"If I start feeling it, you won't see it. I won't let it affect my players. I'll hold it in and make sure I go out and have a good game. When it's over, it's over."

Getting over what happened on the night of Nov. 7, 2006 will never happen for Pata's family. Bryan, 22, was found shot in the back of the head, bleeding to death outside of his apartment complex in Kendall by his girlfriend just a few hours after leaving a University of Miami football practice. Police still haven't brought his killer to justice. And life has moved forward slowly for Pata's family since.

Saturday, a few family members will attend the Canes-Rattlers game. But Bryan's mother, Jeanette, who was given season tickets by UM according to Pata, will not be attending.

"She can't do it and to be honest, I don't want her to go," Edwin Pata said. "But my sisters, brother are going to go and my little nieces and nephews are going to go. They loved watching Bryan play. I remember when they used to cry 'We want to go see Sidney play.'

"This summer, we all went to see Bryan's locker at UM, took pictures. Other than moving his helmet and cleats to the top of the locker, it's pretty much the same way he left it."

The pain of his death will never leave his family. But life has moved forward -- somewhat -- says Edwin. The family hasn't done an interview in nearly a year. Jeanette, who moved to West Palm Beach after the family received a $2 million settlement from the apartment complex's insurance company, has begun concentrating on her clothing and shoe business according to Edwin. He talks to her two to three times a day and she will often stay with him in Tallahassee for two to three weeks at a time. His siblings, meanwhile, have begun refocusing on their jobs and children.

Pata family "Everybody is working and moving forward," Pata said. "Everybody's life is getting back -- not to normal, but moving forward and accepting it and getting back to normalcy. We're rebounding. Adversity has built character in our family. Everybody is kind of bonding off one another to kind of leave or help create a legacy for Bryan. We're not just trying to carry on. I think that's where we're at now."

But every week, Edwin said, different family members will take turns speaking to police about the open investigation. Nobody, he says, has given up on finding his brother's killer.

"My mom and brother and sisters were with police two days ago," Pata said. "We have appointments where they'll give us an update and tell us where they're at. They've been honest with us. Two and a half years later, they're still working hard.

"Some days I feel it won't happen and one day I'll say they'll crack the case. I'm not a detective, but there's one piece of that puzzle -- and they have a lot of pieces of the puzzle -- that I think they are just waiting on to get. I think they'll solve it. But doubt does creep in."

Football has helped Edwin, now 26, carry on. A month after Bryan died, Edwin graduated from Florida State. After spending several months helping his mother and family cope, he trained and gave the NFL a shot. It didn't pan out and he eventually applied to several graduate schools. Then, he ran into former Hurricane Rubin Carter, who was coaching Florida A&M.

"He said 'I heard about your brother.' He said 'Have you that about coaching?," Pata said. "He said 'Coaching will help occupy your mind.' I applied and came in as a grad assistant working under Renato Diaz, who was my coach at FIU. He gave me the opportunity to learn and coach the tight end position."

After Carter and his staff were fired after a 3-8 season, current coach Joe Taylor offered Pata an opportunity to stay on and prove himself. Pata did.

"Being around the game, the young players has just helped me so much," Pata said. "I feel like I'm still around Bryan. It's a blessing.

Bryan Pata's grave "It's funny, I still think about what Coach [Randy] Shannon told me the day after Bryan died. It's stuck with me because of all the things he went through early in his life. He said 'You have to be the centerpiece for the family, be strong.' It was firm and its helped me along the way. When he told me his story and the tragedies he went through, it just with me. He's been that centerpiece being a football coach. I want to be too."

Pata said while he doesn't talk to Shannon much, he stays in contact frequently with defensive line coach Clint Hurtt. "Bryan died on his birthday," Pata said. "No matter what, he says, Bryan will always be on his mind. We text each other every now and then. When I saw him at the coaches convention we caught up and he gave me a big hug. I was happy when I got to see him and a lot of the players this summer."

Pata held his second annual football camp in honor of his late brother at North Miami Stadium last June. He said 25 players each from Miami and FIU attended and served as coaches. He said about 300 local football players, ages 6 to 15, attended and learned life lessons. Next year, Pata says, he'll move the camp to the first week of July to have more former Canes in the NFL -- like Brandon Meriweather, Jon Beason and Kareem Brown -- who were his brother's teammates, attend the event.

"To see how much he's being involved in helping kids' lives, I know he's watching from up there and smiling," Pata said. "At our camp, we try to teach life lessons to make sure the same tragedies don't happen again. We give out character awards. We tell kids there is no cursing. It's what's needed in North Miami. I know Brian is proud. That's what we strive for as a family."

Pata said he still has the artwork donated by Hurricanes fans of his brother and cherishes them. It's among the many mementos he holds of his brother he looks at each day to remind him of what he lost.

"I have game film of him I'll watch each night just to see him moving," Pata said. "Somebody gave me this two to three second clip from fan day of him signing autographs. I'll probably rewind it 50 times. I still talk to him everyday.

"I'm grateful for my brother. I miss him to death. And I tell him every day I can't wait to see him again."

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R.I.P. Pata

AMEN !!!!

Reading this article hit me like a ton of lead. It reminded me of the Taylor situation, then onto the memory of hearing first think one morning that Jerome Brown died. I think of these 3 men like the 3 wise kings. I know it sounds kinda sappy, but this is how I want to remember these players in my mind. My heart goes out to all of the family members. and I think it would be a fitting salute to have a minute of silence before the game. Just a thought. Living in NC now I feel like sometimes I'm a 1000 miles away from my favorite team especially when there is no TV coverage. Thanks

Great article Manny. RIP Pata.

BTW my Canes brethren, I just posted this over on Anton's blog and thought it might be helpful to some of you reading this blog.

MY CABLE COMPANY DOESN'T OFFER ESPN360--WHAT DO I DO TO WATCH THE NON-TELEVISED GAME THIS SATURDAY???

ANSWER:
If your cable company offers ESPN 360 (assuming you also get fast speed internet through your cable company), then you can watch the game there this Saturday. IF NOT, lucky for us, FAMU broadcasts all their games over the Internet: http://www.famurattlersports.com/ . Supposedly the quality is near HD.

DO I REALLY HAVE TO WATCH THE GAME OVER MY COMPUTER SCREEN?

ANSWER:
So you can watch the game on your computer, OR, if you have an LCD/plasma screen (e.g. Sharp Aquos), odds are it has an outlet to plug in your computer or laptop.

You’ll need at least one cable but preferably two. You’ll NEED a vga monitor cable for vid (kinda like this one http://www.lincoln.edu/imc/vga-cable.jpg ). I got lucky that my computer monitor came with one.

You’ll also need a basic analog audio cable (kinda like this one http://www.wiredco.com/images/6FT35MMMA2.jpg ) should you want to hear your computer’s audio over your TV speakers or surround sound system. I got lucky again here since an MP3 player I bought a few years back came with one.

As I’ve been away from Miami for almost 7 years now (6 in NYC and presently in San Fran), I’ve had to get used to watching Canes games over the net. It’s much better now than 3-4 years ago, when sometimes the only option available was to tune into 560 WQAM over the net and watch the X’s and O’s on ESPN’s GameCast. We sucked back them; at least now that we’re good again, there’s usually some way to watch Canes games over the net or TV.

GO CANES!!!

--CanesFanStuckInCali

GREAT story Manny!! It just shows you how thru this tragedy, this family has had the strength and fortitude and learned how to cope and move forward, while never forgetting or resting till their brothers killer is brought to justice. I am happy that this tragedy has not torn them apart. I am especially happy for Edwin, when the incident had just happened he represented his family well in the all the interviews and I am glad to see he is doing well career wise and giving back to the community with the football camps (and it's great to see that UM players are an integral part of the camps). All the best to Edwin, Brian's mom and the rest of the family. R.I.P. #95, U will never be forgotten.

REST IN PEACE

RIP Pata.
Bryan is up there with Jerome Brown, Chris Campbell, and Yamma YAmma. In Cane heaven

God Bless Edwin.

CAnes in Cali- thanks for the tips.

Go canes.

peace be with you and your family . we will never forget and hope for justice some day

All those emotions that I felt back in 2006 came up again reading this post. R.I.P BIG-PATA.

Great article. My heart sinks whenever Bryan Pata is talked about. I get pissed off, though, when it hit me that his killer is still out there. This "no snitching" culture is crap, someone out there knows who did it, they should report it and give his family some peace of mind.

CanesFanStuckInCali thanx for the tips, good looking out

Dude review your work first and learn about spell check.

Manny...They still haven't find his killer, what's up with that???

R.I.P Pata!!

CanesFanStuckInCali,

Thanks for your update, I will give it a try this weekend!

RIP Pata - Maybe one day, we will have another Pata at the U. Just call him coach Edwin Pierre-Pata.

Great read..... GO CANES!

Dude review your work first and learn about spell check.

Posted by: JL | October 08, 2009 at 08:53 AM

It's a blog, who cares if Manny miss spelled things on here.

great post. RIP pata.

EVERY SEC GAME IS GUARANTEED TO BE TELEVISED...EVERYONE. Part of the TWO BILLION DOLLAR package that the premier conference signed.

The champs are playing in PRIME TIME. The whole nation will watch.

Posted by: Zagax | October 08, 2009 at 09:57 AM


Too bad the sad thing is even with all the SEC games combine the average rating wouldn't even beat UM's national televise games.

UF gets the recruits alright. But let me know when Deonte Thompson start doing something. And what happened to Matt Patchan? 5-Stars O-Line, I haven't heard from him since signing day in '08.

Look at all the recruiting websites all you want. You can look at USC and they have all those 5 stars players and easy pac-10 schedule and still loose.

Go ahead and win on the recruiting but see who wins on the field for the next 2 to 3 years.

Pedro,

Your back!!! My love!

Love,

Steve

I like how UF clowns are turning this arguments into recruiting once Miami is starting to getting up there in the picture. We could have had Dunbar and Trail but UM stop recruiting them. Sure they are from Booker T but Canes snatched two more from the Gayturds country, Nelson and Davis.

Do the gators have a blog site?? y are their idiots always here... who cares about recruiting in October..

The Gators are here because they are getting jealous the U are on their way back.

t's a blog, who cares if Manny miss spelled things on here.

Posted by: AthensU | October 08, 2009 at 09:48 AM

as a journalist, it should matter

My heart goes out to the Pata family. Anyone who lost a family member can relate.


Gator fans who pull the recruiting card are looking for something to "one-up" the U as it appears that their program is losing ground and Tebow can't screw his head on right.

I can see the posts already:

"We lost to LSU bc Tebow was injured! At least we lost to #4 team not #9. YADA YADA YADA"

Leave your insecurities off this blog. It's called SWAG. We don't care what U do or how many 5'6" RBs you recruit....GET LOST!

Pata's family, you have no need to worry. If justice is not served here on earth, rest assure justice will be served come Judgment Day for the scum or scums who committed this crime. Bastards!!


R.I.P. Mr. Pata

My God, I can feel the sense of focus and dedication by just reading the quotes from Edwin, on behalf of his Family.

The passion for carrying on with so much dignity, to honor Bryan is so heartfelt. Edwin's words lifted off the screen and touched me...

The Pata Family has shown so much strength in their most trying moment.

What a way to turn their pain into honor.

I pray that the Lord continues to use you all Pata Family.

God bless you all!!!!!

Good article on JH.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/dave_hyde/10/07/harris/index.html

What you do in High school is one thing, what you do in college is another. Supposed big name recruits don't make the program, it's what they do on the field and who does the best job coaching. Da "U" would be better off without 5 Star players Does these flops ring a bell: Wright, Moore, & Williams. Recruit the guys that are hungry & let the Turds get those big names.

Too many Canes gone too soon.

RIP and God Bless them all.

R.I.P. Brian Patta definitely. Heart still goes out to him and his family.

NORTHWESTERN VS. CENTRAL, 7:30 P.M., ESPN2

Is Miami recruiting any players from these teams?

Other than the NW DL commit.

We miss and love you Bryan!

HEY ATHENSU, MATT PATCHAN IS OUT FOR THE SEASON WITH A TORN ACL. JUST ANOTHER SOFT RECRUIT PICKED UP BY THE GAYTURDS.
GOOOOOOO C-A-N-E-S

... NICE JOB... MANNY.

Like the old saying goes, "What goes around, comes around"... is karma waiting patiently with a sledgehammer.

Wishing all of the best to the Pata Family.

Cat

Oh Bryan Pata we do miss you! Pata was one of the best in what he did on the field. He was definitely NFL bound and another Cane we would have seen on Sundays representing himself, his family and the "U". Bryan Pata and Sean Taylor died too young and will be sorely missed by the Cane nation. Glad to see his brother honoring his memory with a camp for kids. With that his memory will never die! RIP Bryan Pata. Much love.

I can't believe these Gayturd MF'in DOUCHES would come and crap on this blog.

Manny is writing about a tragic, unsolved murder of a former player and how it has affected his family and friends.

Anyone who would find this a fitting place to come and try to talk smack about recruiting or TV time or silly stuff like that is COMPLETELY CLASSLESS and has NO SENSE FOR WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN LIFE.

RIP BP #95 forever. Miami-Dade PD, bring these cowardly killers to justice! To the Pata and UM families, life goes on, the sun still rises, honor the fallen by living each day to the fullest, for one day you shall meet again in heaven and O will there will be stories to share...

This dude is a straight punk. Anyway Coach Shannon been thru tragedy thats why he is the perfect coach for the Canes. He's not recruiting troublemakers and kids with average grades. somebody said it yesterday most kids can't attend UM cause they don't even qualify. RIP PATA

Breaking news!!!

Dah U just got another 3 star recruit.

Dah U = Home of the 3 star recruit

Next year is the year!! BAWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

You and what coach, what OL, what secondary, and what DL??????????

Wasn't ED Reed a three star recruit. Dumba** do u really believe that 5 star crap matters. Pryor was all world in Jeannettee that weak PA football. Geez this guy is amazing. The fodder over recruits on a blog about the Pata fam. May tha Lawd have mercy on your poor pathetic soul.

We all know what happens to NFL clubs that bring in all the "studs". No chemistry, no team unity, no leadership. Just a bunch of guys playing for themselves.

This is why we go for the blue collar, us against the world mentality!

Keep drinking the Starburst flavored Kool Aid.

See U in the top 10 on Sunday!

GO CANES!!!

Next year is the year!! BAWAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAH

You and what coach, what OL, what secondary, and what DL??????????

Posted by: Kool Aid | October 08, 2009 at 01:30 PM

Thanks for the "evil scientest" laugh "D" Bag, I needed to set my watch! Right on time!

WHAT A LOSER!

Go 'canes!

"Scientist"

Hey Gators, you all sound so envious. 5 NT's to only 3. You're still the little kids on the block by the way you still act. Maybe if you start acting like champions you would start smelling like champions.

Posted by: AthensU | October 08, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Funny you should mention Brutus... I mean patchan. Benedict... I mean patchan has been injured for one reason or another (not always football related) and is currently out for this season. It can't be happening to a better guy. I am still laughing about his comment on signing day a couple of years ago. His father obviously taught him nothing. Which allows him to fit right in Meyerville.

I miss him. We had statistics together. We would clown the whole time. I seriously never have gotten over it. Everytime I think about Project Pata, it messes me up.

RIP Pata. Great story made me cry!!
Just a cane fan for life. bill

To the gator fans who came on this story and thread about a young man who was inexplicably and horribly murdered and talked trash, get some class. There are other places and stories where you can spew your dim-witted, ignorant nonsense. No wonder no one cares about you except your myopic selves.

RIP to Bryan, Jerome, Sean T., Chris Campbell, Al Blades, Marlin Barnes, Stanley Shakespeare and all the other Canes who have left this Earth too soon. Even the Canes' team in Heaven is loaded with All-Americans. For the Pata family, just remember that karma is a b!tch and whoever committed this awful, horrendus crime will get his or hers in the end, if not on thie Earth then in the deepest, darkest valleys of h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

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