Daily Archives: June 16, 2008

A Trip to the HOF

I always find it hard to believe that some athletes have incredible talent and they waste it by doings things that sabotage their careers. From drugs to gambling to jail to bad attitudes, there are a number of that rookies can get in trouble. Many times they get new friends that come with lots of temptations. They don’t stop to realize that one day they will look back on their career and could be either viewed by fans as a loser, a waste of talent or a legend.

The people who achieve incredible records start by setting goals and focusing on them. They strive for excellence on and off the field. Many sports stars today are so focused on themselves that they don’t learn the history of their sport.  

Michael Irvin can relate with all of this. He was an incredible talent and an impulsive star who made his share of mistakes. He rebounded to finish as a champion and a HOFer. Irvin recently admitted that he did not realize the history of the sport when he entered the league and could have avoided some of his problems if he had understood what it took to become an NFL legend.

Like any good leader, Irvin is taking his message to others. He has worked with the NFL to develop a program to help indoctrinate rookies by taking them to the HOF. The aim of this program is to encourage rookies to do the right thing by being inspired by the sport’s greatest athletes.

I am reminded of Irvin’s incredibly candid speech last year at his induction ceremony. He spoke about his past sins and attempt at redemption. He challenged others to do it better than he did it. He seems to be backing up his words with actions by encouraging this new rookie initiative. Way to go Michael.

I thought this was a positive story from the world of sports. Read more…


The Power of Blessing

“You can curse a child by destroying their dreams.” – Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army

Boykin, a retired Army general, spoke this past Sunday at my church about the importance of blessing our children. This is one of the teachings from the Bible that has largely been lost in modern society, including the Church. Boykin pointed to the Hebrew Scriptures that include many stories about the importance of a blessing. This includes blessings from God, leaders (Moses, Aaron, King David) and fathers (Issac and Jacob). The most well known story about a father’s blessing involves Jacob and Esau. Jacob, the younger brother, tricked the father to receive the blessing. While we should not deceive others to get what we want, this story demonstrates the importance of a father’s blessing in ancient culture.

Unfortunately, fatherhood has become a comical caricature today. It brings to mind images of Homer Simpson, Al Bundy, Tony Soprano, or Pete Griffin of Family Guy. Fathers in TV are depicted as bumbling idiots who would be in trouble if it weren’t for his wife, kids and the dog. Or dads are workaholics who don’t spend time with their kids. Many of these exaggerations are unfair. But they do highlight a major problem in America today.

I believe that involved, loving father’s are the critical piece that are missing in many families. It isn’t that these men wake up one day and decide to sabbotage their familiies. They may never have known this kind of love and leadership themselves. Also, these men may not realize how critical their role is. That is why I like want General Boykin had to say. The involvement of a loving father can make a huge difference in the success of a family. Stories over the last few days about Tim Russert and his son are a perfect example of my point.

I am thankful to have a great father as well as a number of great men who have been mentors in my life. Consider listening to this teaching that covers ways you can grow as a father and bless your kids.