This weekend was extraordinary for Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerry Jones, TCU, Dallas Cowboys fans, Lady Gaga fans, and all football fans — OK, practically everyone who lives in North Texas.
The incredible come-from-behind, first overtime game in history was riveting. And our Fort Worth and Dallas stars, Tomlinson and Jones, were inducted into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame the night before.
What a game! We’re all still trying to figure out how
- Brady, only a sixth round draft pick, was able to win his record fifth Super Bowl out of a record seven he’s played in,
- The Patriots, the best team in the NFL, were blown out in the first half,
- The team then scored 25 unanswered points to tie the game, then marched 75 yards to win the game,
- Brady passed for 466 yards (282 in the second half), the most in Super Bowl history,
- Julian Edelman hung on to the ball to make the greatest catch in Super Bowl history,
- The Patriots were able to score on two extra point tries, the second necessary due to a missed gimme PAT, and
- The NFL allows the team that wins the overtime coin flip to win the game.
And how about “LT” Tomlinson who
- Grew up in the Waco area idolizing the Dallas Cowboys,
- Came to TCU in 1997 and turned around the struggling Horned Frogs,
- Is ranked sixth in rushing in NCAA history,
- Led the San Diego Chargers for nine years, gaining 13,684 rushing yards and also 4,772 yards catching the ball, and
- Still holds the NFL record for most touchdowns scored in a season (31).
LT is a class act
When I heard LaDainian was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving. Not just as an athlete, but as the kind of man who came back to finish his college degree in 2005 after he’d promised that to his mother.
He writes on his foundation’s website that “my hope is someday my legacy is based on how I’m defined as a husband, father, colleague, citizen and what I contribute to the community, not what I did for a living.”
As a player, LT took time to visit children in hospitals, give food to the hungry, start a charity golf tournament, and gave Chargers tickets at every home game to children who might otherwise not have a chance to see a game.
Since retiring from the NFL, he has continued to make the world a better place. His non-profit Touching Lives Foundation develops programs that assist needy families and build a better community. These programs focus on key issues like healthy living, education, cultural awareness, and positive self-esteem.
C.A.L.F. is a great cause to support
It was an honor to meet LT several years ago at the C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life and Fitness) 5K Run and Healthy Foods Competition. His foundation partnered with C.A.L.F. and I was a sponsor of the worthwhile event.
C.A.L.F. works year round to support and train our children for the 5K sponsored by the Cowtown Marathon, with race proceeds going towards giving 5,800 grants to North Texas children for running shoes and entry fees to participate.
The Cook Children’s 5K race is coming up on Saturday, February 24th. More info is here.
Let’s hope our children grow up to be role models like LaDainian Tomlinson, fierce competitors like Tom Brady, and astute businessmen like Jerry Jones.