10 Things I Learned From Football Hall of Famers

This past weekend was the induction ceremony of six men to the Football Hall of Fame. One was of local interest, Bruce Matthews, who played for the Oilers and then for the Titans. All six men come from different eras, with different accomplishments and achievements – all amazing. These were elite athletes and high-quality men. Here are the ten things I noticed as I listened to each and every speech:

  1. They all possess great humility. Here are people who are high achievers, have been all their lives, and yet they hold their accomplishments with great humility.
  2. They all display great gratitude. They had long lists of people they had to thank for all that they had been able to achieve. The attitude of gratitude always prevails in those who succeed.
  3. All six have long-term marriages. They acknowledged, there were difficult times, but they’d stayed the course and had been married to the same person over a lifetime. Marriage stability is a key element in high-achievers.
  4. They all acknowledged long-term friendships. They all maintained friendships going back to high school and college days. They were able to make friendships understanding that they couldn’t achieve alone.
  5. They all are team players. They understand that football is a team sport and like anything else, no one succeeds on their own. They couldn’t have come to the Hall of Fame without those other teammates who supported them.
  6. They all have an elevated view of fatherhood. They had their children and grandchildren there and talked directly to them. They take very seriously the responsibility of being a father, recognizing that anyone can be a biological dad, but it takes a real man to be a father.
  7. They all displayed a high level commitment to excellence. They played on winning teams, won Super Bowls. They displayed excellence in everything they did, their dress, demeanor, the demeanor of their families all exuded an excellence in quality.
  8. They all displayed a great respect for tradition. They understand that there are football traditions, college traditions, sporting traditions. They seem to understand there is a big difference between tradition and traditionalism. Traditionalism is the dead faith of living men while tradition is the living faith of dead men.
  9. They all displayed a great sense of loyalty. They are loyal to the people who had supported them. They defended people. They stood up for people. They gave thanks to the little men who seem to be obscure but only find their praise in others.
  10. They all have an outstanding faith in God. They were not ashamed to acknowledge it, to pray, and to openly thank God.

These are qualities in great achievers. Look at yourself and around you. Do you have them? Do you bring them out in other people?

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