The Most Valuable Lessons………

1 year, 10 months ago 6



Those of you that read this blog know how much I love football, in all it’s forms.  If any two teams, be they pee wee league, high school, college or pro are playing I’m wanting to watch and relish in the game I love so much.  I played football in High School and would have loved to have had the talent to go further, but sadly I didn’t.  I did the next best thing and covered, as a photographer,  football at all levels, the zenith being a short stint as the Washington Redskins official photographer.


Every year, for many years, I have set aside the Saturday night of the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to sit and watch every minute of these players receive the highest award football can offer, to be elected and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I have heard the stories of the lifetimes behind some of my greatest football heroes, many of whom I photographed from the sidelines, or interviewed face to face for the Richland today magazine.  I can remember most of the inductees, except for those from the 30′, and 40’s.  Sherelene and I have been side by side for almost every Super Bowl Sunday!


As much as I love the game, I found a theme running through the ceremonies last night that runs through the ceremonies every year  for all these years, faith and family.  It is wonderful to know that with the millions of people that have played this game only 300 are in the Hall of Fame.  What makes these 300 people so special that they attained such a high place in their profession?  Rarely does anyone ever walk to the podium to receive that honor that they don’t talk about how much their family, their mother and father, their brothers and sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles influenced them.



One of my favorite of the players inducted last night was Brett Favre.  I have always identified with Brett, in that he played the game with a passion and sheer love for the game and the people he played the game with.  I know deep in my heart that I have been a photographer with same love for the art and craft I practice and the people it has brought into my life!  I am not suggesting I have excelled at my craft as Brett has, but I’ve attacked it with the same passion.   Something very, very special happened for me last night, even though I have admired and appreciated Brett Favre as an athlete and player, I’ve often wondered if he was a man of faith?  I had never heard him give God the credit for any of his many accomplishment.  It would be truly sad for  me to think he did not know where all his success had come from.  Tears filled my eyes when he opened his remarks with, “Thank you Canton, thank you Hall of Fame, thank you Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior.”  What a wonderful gift for me!  I can now know Brett as a great player, a man of passion, a hero and a brother in our Lord!


Tony Dungy, Orlando Pace, Marvin Harrison Eddie DeBartolo Jr and others all attested to the value of family and faith in their career and more importantly their lives. It was, as all inductions are, a night to celebrate the most important things in life, Faith, Family, friends, and our passions!


I thought after the evening was over, that no man or woman can ever achieve anything of lasting value apart from those four things, Faith in God, the love for and of a great family, the treasure of true friends, and a passion for whatever you hold dear.


Please allow me to plead with you, that if these are not the central focus of your life, please pray about it, I beg you to think about, wrestle with it and decide to make this your path, your goal, the purpose of your life.  You and I will never go to Canton and give that talk, we will never have a bust made of our face to sit in the Hall of Fame, but we can strive to be Hall of Fame believers, Hall of Fame husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and grandparents, and Hall of Fame friends.  We can give all our strength and energy to what we do, what we deem worth our time and effort, our professions and passions.  That’s the Hall of Fame I want some day to be inducted into.  I hope we get their together and go in,  in the same class!




the pilgrim

6 Responses

  1. Beautifully said Bill. I admire your passion and dedication. Great to be with you in Nashville. A dream come true for me.

  2. Bill, I am very glad you were moved by this. Brett Favre hurt a lot of feelings in Green Bay. Thankfully, Bart Starr (while he was physically able) sewed the seeds of reconciliation (playing for Green Bay isn’t just a job). Last year when Brett returned twice to Lambeau Field there were tears again — but this time tears of joy. During one of his speeches a guy who was known for being a great deal of “all about me” began recognizing people who contributed to his success — and once he got past the obvious he got down to the seamstresses, switchboard operator and cleaning ladies. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room then because we knew that his remorse, repentance and reconciliation was real. By being humble he was further exalted. I kept thinking then how nice it would have been if you and the Donster were there and know now it was the right thought.

  3. Madge Bloom says:

    I agree Bill, accomplishments, fame, success, possessions are all fleeting in light of eternity. We who could never work hard enough to earn our way to heaven are given the free gift of eternal life by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners. Our relationships with God and people are what truly gives life its richness. Pre-season is coming, yay! The Seahawks play in Kansas City on Sunday… my jersey is all ready to wear.. GO Hawks!

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