This is what is so GREAT about the GREATEST game on earth! With so much negative press lately about football, here are two examples of what makes this sport shine above all others. It’s the heart, y’all. The heart of the gridiron goes way beyond any scoreboard or championship or scandal. It’s as big as the sport itself. And, big is good.
Did you know?
In the college ranks, we refer to some programs as “brainy schools” or “acadameia-maineia” schools (teams like Duke, Tulane, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt). Student-athletes who sign with these schools to play football, not only are required to have scored higher on the SAT or ACT than the NCAA guidelines for collegiate athletes, but their high school grade point average (GPA) must be higher as well! Once on campus, they have to maintain an even higher GPA throughout the four years of eligibility than most other student-athletes in the same arena. In other words, these players hit the field as well as the books and exceed the NCAA requirements. My hat’s off to ’em! Win or lose on the field of football, these kids are leaders. Period.
I’ve known parents whose kids are walk-ons, and as long as that college tuition is being covered by the walk-on’s family, most programs pass on handing out scholarships. This week, Vanderbilt Commodores’ Head Coach, James Franklin, surprised his senior player with a scholarship and that, my friends, speaks volumes about this man’s character. However, there’s no doubt the kid earned it in the classroom and on the field! Congratulations, Marc Panu!
In other recent news, we come to the New York Jets, Tim Tebow. Man, how do you describe Tim Tebow? Christian, unselfish, great athlete, great attitude, class act, impeccable character, big heart. That boy’s heart is so big that he stoops to shake the hands of little kids and grant their wishes. (Check out the Tim Tebow Foundation.) That’s what it’s all about folks, humility in a big-headed sport. Awesome, Tim Tebow! Can you imagine how grateful the Shirey family must be?
Two dazzling examples of how great some people behind the gridiron sport really are! And, the true measure of how a football man’s heart goes beyond the GREATEST game ever played.