Did you see the National Football Hall of Fame enshrinement speeches? I know, I know… old men in yellow jackets, sweating profusely, and giving speeches is not a stop the channel surfing moment.
But I am always riveted by what these men say. These men represent the best of the best. They are the elite in a sport that requires a warrior like spirit and an incredible will to win. Most of these men play from 8 to 15 years in the league. I cannot imagine what that is like on the human body.
What they say is always inspiring. Hall of Famers have talent, but talent alone does not get you into Canton. These men have leadership skills and character. Here are quotes that are more common than rare:
Roger Wehrli (Cornerback, St Louis Cardianls)- “Finally, many of you know me as a man of faith. I believe that God has guided each and every move I've made. He's put the right people in the right places to bring me here, and I thank Him with all my heart for taking a little guy from a little town with little dreams and making me fit to wear the title of Hall of Famer.”
Bruce Matthews (Off. Line, Tenn Titans) I'd first like to say how honored and blessed I am to be here. If someone had told me when I was a kid that one day I would play in the NFL and let alone be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I wouldn't have believed them. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be standing up here today, and I'd like to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for blessing me and my family so much…I've never been more aware of how much the Lord Jesus Christ has blessed me and loves me than at this very moment, and I want to thank Him again because that is where the credit is due. Thank you all for this amazing honor. Thank you.
Thurman Thomas (RB, Buffalo Bills) “To my wife Patti, what a design only God could have planned. I was a senior at Oklahoma State when I met a freshman golfer from Buffalo, New York. We dated my senior year. I got drafted to her hometown of Buffalo, New York. That's been almost 20 years. I sit here today and I say thank you, Patti, my friend, my wife, my mother, mother of my kids. It's been 20 years since we've been together, and I would like to take this time and this opportunity to let it be another 20 years we can spend together, but also with the plan of asking you, Will you marry me again? I love you.”
Rayfield Wright (2006 inductee, Dallas Cowboys) “First of all, I’d like to give praise and thanks to our father in heaven and through his son Jesus Christ that has given me the ability to play sports.”
If you read the transcript of the entire speeches, you will see that these are not token mentions.
These men have inspirational stories of family and faith.
The point: Jesus Christ makes a difference. He not only saves, He changes men. If you looked at Hall of Famers in all walks of life, you will see that Christ produces champions.
Let us allow Him to make champions out of us!
I too thoroughly enjoyed those speeches. It was encouraging to see how CHrist has impacted the lives of those men.
Your fav New Yorker, Joe
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