I was on the couch with my son last night, flipping through the channels and decided to stop on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. I used to watch the show often back in the day but had not given it any of my time in quiet a while.
I almost turned the station when Michael Irvin began to speak. I find the guy very annoying. Like, cut off my left hand to distract me from his voice annoying. He is one of those guys that just gets louder the less he knows about a subject, which is often. I didn’t even know he had a job after getting the boot from ESPN.
Anyway, I’m just getting set to flip to something less like the feeling of my head in a vice when Irvin says something that catches my ear. STOP! Wait! I rewind in amazement, wondering if I’m doing the right thing (The DVR came with very stern instructions not to use it on anything Michael Irvin says).
Irvin was discussing his induction into the Hall of Fame. Getting past all his jabber, what caught my ear was when he talked about being there for Troy and Emmit. Taking a look around he was blown away. Irvin said ( I wish I had a link for the exact quote but it was TV and some how Blues Clues got recorded in it’s place) that if he had went to the Hall of Fame in the beginning of his career he thought he may have put as much into his life off the field as he did on the field.
Wow! I forgot who the source of this was as I thought about it. A very good, valid point was just made here. And then the reality of it coming from Michael Irvin set in and I thought I must have heard it wrong. Again, laughing in the face of the DVR warning, I rewind. Yep…he said it. Michael Irvin just said something that made me stop and think.
Riddle me this (it was so much cooler when I said that before all the Batman movies came out in the 80’s-90’s). What if every rookie, as a right of passage, was required to tour The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio? By himself, without distraction of other players or friends. A walk through the hall, taking in the history of the game they are about to enter. Planting a possible seed of appreciation for their position in life. The awareness of what could be if they cross the line as they pass the Arena Football exhibit. They would need to present proof of their appearance. Like a picture of them buying a “Someone who loves me went to The Hall of Fame and all I got was this stupid t-shirt” and then they have to present it personally to the league commish.
I have worked years in the Human Services field and I know that some people just plain are who they are. But I also know that with a little enlightenment, some people can make different choices. Show them what is obtainable. It wouldn’t get them all, not even close, but even a few would be a good thing. In these days of big contracts and fake injuries maybe we would even get a better product on the field if some of these guys had that seed planted early of what can become of their career. Someday a rookie may be walking past the shoes of the enlightened players and hoping to be there some day.
All fun aside now. It’s my thinking that if Michael Irvin can come to a conclusion as he did that many others could be reached with that single trip before the games begin.