Positive role models are still out there in the NFL

9/18/13 in NFL   |   brindalinck   |   13 respect

Sep 15, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Kyle Orton (18) warms up prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsI can recall a few early memories of becoming a football fan. It involved my dad, french fries, and Sundays. My dad was, and still is, a big football fan. We would watch the game with a platter of french fries between us when I was a little kid. I chose the Dallas Cowboys as my team for one simple reason. The “Star”. Yes, the star on the helmets of each player. I loved my Cowboys for many years. I suffered in the 70’s at the hands of the Steelers, cheered when Emmitt Smith, my beloved Florida Gator, was drafted, and trashed talked my way into the early 90’s for having the best team. And then one day, it changed.

Maybe it was because I became a mom, I was getting older, or a little wiser to what really matters in life. I didn’t want my players to just do well on the field; I wanted them to make a difference off the field. Character matters to me. And it should matter to all of us. I remember when the Cowboys were starting to get attention for bad decisions off and on the field. At one point, I was ashamed to be a Cowboys fan. American’s team no longer had morals, values, or character. Unfortunately, the Cowboys still have a ways to go today.

I have favorite teams because of weird reasons. I love the Jets because as a teenager, they were glamorous! New York! New York! Bright lights! I loved the Packers because of Brett Favre, who I met while living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a few years, and then there was my hometown team, the Jaguars. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida during the time when we were lobbying to bring the NFL to our city. And we did get that team, but after I had moved away. Now enter “social media”, and I have teams I like because of the players who wear their uniforms.

I never dreamed I would find myself loving some different teams because of the men who play. Social media has put us closer to the players. That can be a good or bad thing. I am finding it to be a great thing. I love being the encourager to those who are working hard, giving back, and keeping what’s important first in their lives. In other words, I look up to them. And I’m not talking about me only being five feet tall. There are players that are great role models to kids and adults. I’ve had the privilege to meet a couple of these players. There are many more that do great things in their hometowns, communities, and in third world countries. They are taking their resources and giving back. That quality in a player, I admire and respect. The problem is that we don’t hear enough about what these players are doing. I am hoping to change that by writing about a player each week that’s making a difference.

How about that for some positive news?!
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