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Once In A Lifetime

COLUMN ARCHIVE

August 9, 2000

How do I put into words the once in a lifetime experience I recently had. This past weekend, my family went to Canton, Ohio for the NFL Hall of Fame 2000 induction ceremony. You may not know, but my father is Ronnie Lott, former NFL All-Pro Athlete. This year, five men where blessed with the honor of being crowned a Hall of Famer and one of these men was my dad. Not only did I have the privilege of experiencing this weekend as a son, but also a die-hard fan of the NFL.

As a son, it is a pretty neat feeling to be able to say that my father is in the Hall of Fame. I get chills just writing about it. At first it really didn't hit me. I mean, he is just my dad. I don't look at him and see a football player but yet I see a father. The emotions didn't hit me until the ceremony when Joe Montana broke down the percentage of men that were in the Hall. He said, that each year approximately 2,400 men try to start a season with a team and then by the first game of that season only 1,300 players are left. Therefore, there is only about 1,300 players that play in the NFL in any given season. Then he said, out of all the players who have tried out or played football in the NFL's history only 211 men are in the Hall Of Fame. That my friends, is a pretty small number. That's when I knew that my father was part of a very prestigious NFL fraternity. I was so proud of him.

The day my father was inducted into the Hall Of Fame was a day that made all our family members proud. I mean, a member of our family has reached the pinnacle of his profession and is being honored for doing so. One has to respect any man or woman who was one of the best at what he or she did and in a sense conquered their job.

As a fan of football, this weekend has been carved into my memory forever. It was very inspiring to see so many former NFL All-Pro's together in one place. This was the first and last time that a collection of past inductees will be brought together in such a manner. More than 150 of the 211 Hall Of Farmers came back to this year's celebration. For me, it was a true honor to shake hands with the likes of "Broadway" Joe Namath, Gale Sayers, and Franco Harris, "Mean" Joe Green, and many other great athletes. One would think that these would be the type of guys that would have a chip on their shoulder or act cocky, but this was certainly not the case. These where the nicest, most mild-mannered athletes I have ever met. It makes one wonder if there is a formula for being a great athlete. If so, being well mannered must be a key ingredient because it was not just a few players that went out of their way for fans but all the players were down-to-earth good men.

After experiencing such an exciting weekend, it makes the hunger I have to get back onto the field grow even stronger. One of the most important things that I heard, and it was said over and over by the players, is that they would not be where they are if it wasn't for hard work. Though God may have blessed them with athletic ability, it was their responsibility to practice until they developed themselves into an outstanding pro player. I hope that I can take this message and convey it to my teammates because the harder we work this year the more success we will encounter.

Philosophy of the Week

Luke 14:11
"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted".


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