There are moments that define us. And there are times where “we” define the moment.
Last night, I had the privilege of attending the Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees Dinner. A surreal experience to say the least. The moment was not lost on me. The entire evening was a series of moments. Moments for me. Moments for the inductees and their families. Moments for the rest of the audience and media gathered there.
The word moment kept coming to mind as I watched the evening unfold. From watching my friend and partner, Russell S Baxter, greet his good friend, Tom Jackson…
Hall of Fame person. Blessed to have him as a big part of my life. @TomJackson57 pic.twitter.com/88dSgbEBVi
— Russell S. Baxter (@BaxFootballGuru) August 1, 2014
…to the joy of Buffalo Bills fans who made sure they got pictures of Andre Reed.Or maybe it was a series of moments watching Tom Jackson saying yes to everyone who asked for his autograph or wanted a picture with him.
You know me as an Oakland Raiders fan there had to be at least one Ray Guy moment last night:
It was all about the moment.
How does a kid go from __________ to __________? I could say that about any of the inductees last night. Swainsboro, GA or Aliceville, GA to the Hall of Fame (Ray Guy, Walter Jones, respectively). Or, I could say it about me. How does a kid born in Oakland, CA, raised in Phoenix, AZ, go from there to watching/covering a Pro Football Hall of Fame? It just doesn’t happen to people like me.
If I believed that, I would never have made it here. Not made it in an achievement sense, but “made it” as in just being here.
If the inductees didn’t believe it was possible, they never would have made it to the Hall of Fame. I’m sure there were many times when they had to confront their own negative thoughts along the way. Questioning why they should go in early to put in extra work. Dealing with naysayers in the form of teammates, coaches, scouts, or maybe within their own family-friends circle. Each moment along the way helped define them to become who they are today.
Is there one particular moment in your life that you remember? Two moments? Dare I say three?
Whatever phase we are in in our lives, there are certain moments that define us. That unite us. Or, even remind us. Remind us of the sacrifices we made were all worth what we gave.
When it comes to professional athletes, what they give is in their time, effort and yes, their bodies. Their families made sacrifices as well. This moment is about them too. Everything they gave…rewarded in this moment.
FINAL THOUGHT: Special shout-out #1 to my Twitter friend, Marc Ryan.
It was just by chance that I was checking Twitter yesterday while at TD’s Tailgate Grill in Akron, Ohio. Russ and I were checking the place out in anticipation for our show today. I saw that his station, 98.7 The Fan, was also there, but I didn’t think he was part of the broadcast here in Canton. Goes to show that sometimes you shouldn’t think too much, huh?
Watching @MarcRyanOnAir in action on @987TheFan live from @TDsCanton pic.twitter.com/LOgpA6UH8m
— E Sunny Cadwallader (@CadChica) August 1, 2014
Marc does a terrific job on the radio. Knowledgeable and unafraid to state an unpopular, yet true, viewpoint. He’s a bright star in this business.
It was a thrilling moment to finally meet him in person. I’m beyond excited for where he’s gone and where he’s going.
Special shout-out #2 to the folks from Canton that sat at our table last night. Patty, Cathy and the rest of the group were gracious and proud of their fine city. And, Canton McKinley high school, which is far superior to the well-known Massillon. Or, so I’m told.
Thanks to them for their hospitality.