THe Finish Line Blog
Emmitt Smith: Game On
By Shawn Brown
September 14, 2011
So it’s approximately 2:45 in the afternoon at a suite in an upscale hotel near the UN in New York City’s East Side on September 7th 2011. I am highly anticipating the arrival of Emmitt Smith, arguably one of the best running backs in the history of the NFL. As I gather my thoughts and questions for the 15 year NFL Hall of Famer, the doorbell rings. I open the door and standing roughly 5’9 and in a Grey suit with a purple paisley tie stood Emmitt with his Manager and a representative of his publisher for his new book, Game On.
We go through all of the introductions and pleasantries, then we sit in our chairs as the camera crew tweaks a few things. As we wait for them to finish, I initiate small talk to avoid him answering questions I might ask while the cameras are rolling. Being the gentleman that he is, he played along.
Finally, we are ready to go and I knew just how to break the ice, with a question about why he chose to be painted blue and white on the inside while at Florida (Which are the colors for his fraternity: Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.) and not Black and Ole Gold (Which are the colors of my fraternity: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.) He chuckles knowing full well I was taking a friendly jab at him because he is apart of a rivaling fraternity. Once that’s over we engage in an excellent conversation about a boy who had a dream and was told he was too small and too slow and that he would never be able to achieve his goal of playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
As you know, Emmitt achieved his dream and then some. He currently holds the NFL ‘s record for rushing yards at 18,355 as well as rushing TD’s at 164. While there are many topics of the interview worth discussing, there is one I find extremely profound. He said that even though he scored over 160 touchdowns and rushed for over 18,000 yards, he accomplished a lot more before he got to the NFL or even college. As it reads in the book:
“Before I’d ever scored a touchdown for the University of Florida Gators or the Dallas Cowboys, I crossed the goal line untouched hundreds of times. I did it as a small boy in the park across the street from my grandmother’s house in Pensacola, FL.”
For me, that was the biggest nugget in the interview. Dreams begin at a very young age. And for many of us, the rigors of life happen and our dreams fade away. Well, here’s the good news. It’s never too late to achieve a dream in some form or fashion. We can learn from Emmitt’s example of how to begin to pursue a goal. What ever your goal is, see yourself accomplishing it in your mind. What does it look like? What will your family and friends say once you’ve achieved it. Better yet, what will the naysayers utter in your presence once you’ve attained it? I challenge you to dare to dream! Let me know how it goes!
“If there were prophets among you, I the Lord, would reveal myself in visions. I would speak to them in dreams.” Numbers 12:6 NLT
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