NFL – A Lesson In Life?
At the very end of his post on NFL.com for October 3, 2011, way down at the bottom, after all the game highlights from the weekend, after all the observations about winners and losers, after weighing in on bad officiating, bad play calling, bad clock management, Chris Carter’s ‘dumb’ comments, The Lions 82% chance of making the playoffs, Romo trashing, and the ‘Philly-melt’, sportswriter Michael Lombardi took a moment to acknowledge the loss of his friend – former Broncos and Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger who died last Friday having lost in OT his courageous battle with an opponent named ‘cancer’.
In his tribute to Mike Heimerdinger, Michael Lombardi wrote,” the NFL not only lost an outstanding man, but many of us lost a great friend. Dinger was a “man’s man.” He understood the value of friendships and was a close friend to many.”
“I am sad”, he said, “to say good-bye to Dinger. In the world of football, it is hard to find honest and uniquely caring people. Dinger was both and he will be missed.”
Football coaching legend, Vince Lombardi, observed that the quality of a person’s life, is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence”, regardless of their chosen profession – whether it be football, business, politics, government, or what have you.
Vince also said this, “After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been place on the dresser, and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live,”
Mike Heimerdinger appears to have been a quality guy who operated with a level of excellence significantly surpassing that obtained by those whose lives he touched. His honesty and compassion when combined with the value he placed on friendship gave him the ability to not just ‘touch’ the lives of those around him but leave a lasting impression in the process. Dinger left an imprint on his part of the world. His words and his actions will continue to influence those who knew him even in his absence.
Truth be told –that last statement can be said about every man. We will all enter eternity having spoken words and performed actions that will continue to influence the lives of those who knew us. Long after we play our last play, score our last big sale, build our last house, buy our last car, write our last computer program, assemble our last widget, long after our workplaces are empty and the lights have been turned off, long after all the pomp and fanfare have faded – our influence – good or bad – on the lives of those who called us ‘friend’ will be, as Vince Lombardi said, “the enduring thing”.
Who are the three most influential people in your life? Is their friendship having a positive or negative impact on your life?
How about you – what kind of friend have you become? Are you a man whose honesty, integrity, and compassion for others are having a positive impact on the world around you?
“A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.” – Charles Spurgeon
If you died tomorrow – what would your friends say about you? Seriously! Not sure? I dare you to ask them. It might just change your world…