It is embarrassing to admit but I have a tendency to tear up over sporting events. When I attend in person I almost always have to blink a bit during the National Anthem. I know how lucky I am to live in such a great country but really listening to the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” reminds me of how hard we have had to fight to keep it free.
Photo by Casey Sapio of USA Today Sports
Often I feel a lot of reaction to great plays in sports. I think it is weird but I can’t seem to do anything about it. I know it is just happy emotions spilling out my eyes. This weekend? University of Arizona basketball. Senior Day. Gabe York firing four threes in a row? Three of them in 54 seconds? The celebrating joy of the entire Wildcat team? Visiting the “A” center court as he left his home court floor for the final time? I had to grab a tissue.
Today Peyton Manning is announcing his retirement. Has there been a better professional athlete? What if all athletes with Peyton’s level of talent also exhibited his other attributes: work ethic, sportsmanship, charity, devotion to team, gratitude? It is hard to stop listing all of the positive things Peyton Manning exemplifies. Can you imagine a NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Nascar completely populated with players like Peyton Manning? Yes, there are some other great players out there, Stephen Curry comes to mind. But there are too many players who are only playing for their paycheck. Too many who don’t appreciate that raw talent isn’t enough and so they squander it.
It can be a challenge to find good role models for my son. I hope whoever takes over for Peyton Manning realizes it is not just about what you do on the field, but how you do it. That with the big paycheck comes a responsibility off the field as well.
I am hoping to watch Peyton Manning’s press conference. Will I cry? Maybe. But they will be happy tears for a career well played and a life well lived.
Photo from: http://www.biography.com/people/peyton-manning-37880#related-video-gallery
Thank You Peyton Manning!!