Monday, August 23, 2010

The Best Man

It is hard to explain the excitement that builds in me around this time of the year…unless you are a football fan! Football brings with it a change in the weather, pageantry, the passion of the game, chips and dip, get-togethers.....I could go on and on. But to those of us who love this game, you can just smell it in the air!

While flipping through my recent Sports Illustrated magazine, an article caught my attention. I’m usually not interested in articles on ‘fullbacks’ (especially ones from Auburn University), but the caption near his picture caught my eye. It said, “For 16 bone-crunching years, fullback Tony Richardson has been plowing paths for rushing leaders and record breakers. He knows one day he’ll lose his job. . .to someone he’s trained to take it from him.” 

(Football is coming - SI)
Tony Richardson has been given a nickname around NFL circles: ‘Football’s Best Man.’ (explanation for non-sports people: the superstar running back is the groom while Tony plows the road to stardom – as ‘best man’ - for each of them.)

On one particular occasion while he was with the Kansas City Chiefs, Priest Holmes shared a story that described this unselfish fullback. Richardson had just been given the running back position, but he went to Holmes and said he was stepping out of the way.
“Richardson said, ‘You need to be getting the ball. And I’m going to do everything I can to help you’,” recalled Holmes. Now ask yourself, how many people would do that?” 
Richardson says, “I can’t explain it, but it just means more to me to help someone else achieve glory.”

Dick Vermeil, a legendary coach, praised Richardson saying,  “I don’t think I’ve ever been around a player who worked harder to be a better man.”

(Tony Richardson - SI Article)
In life, the names you see and remember are usually the ones in ‘the lights’. They get more finances, more endorsements, more opportunities…but somewhere standing in the shadows is usually someone who has ‘lead’ the way.

We all have a desire to be the best at whatever we do (we should anyway). There should always be a drive within us to reach for the highest of goals because ‘…we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.’
However, there is a calling that I want to throw a spotlight on today.

It may seem easy to run around the very circumstances that might have prohibited you from reaching your goal…..but somewhere there’s a fullback that’s paved the way for you. They ran right up the middle of the fray to take out the obstacles you would have encountered.

For people in a church community…it’s your pastor.
For children…it’s your parents.
For friends…it’s your best (and true) friend.
For America…it’s our soldiers.
For all of us…it’s Christ.

I’ve never been able to understand people who think they’ve got to where they are by their own ability and nothing else. If you don’t think you owe a debt of gratitude to someone who’s paved the way before you…ask Larry Johnson, Priest Holmes, Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, and Marcus Allen. Each of these superstar running backs had their most productive years when Tony Richardson was leading the way.

Hit the pause button and reflect today…are you willing to turn the spotlight off yourself for just a moment and give recognition to those who have jumped into the fray to make your way easier?

Isaiah 53:5 said, “But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (NIV)

Give thanks today for all ‘the Best Men.’

1 comment:

    YOU are my HERO, bubba!
    Love You & Thank You~
    Big Sis