At Thanksgiving, we pause to think about how fortunate we all are to have all that we do, and to celebrate with the people we love. There’s also football.
When it comes to past pro football greats, Tony Richardson isn’t exactly a household name. That is because Tony was a blocking back—he blocked so the featured back could run. In other words, he worked so others could shine in the spotlight. Over seventeen years in the NFL, Richardson shared a backfield with some of the best backs in pro football. He had his shot to be the feature back in 2001, but felt teammate Priest Holmes would be better for the team. Richardson told Holmes, “I need to step out of the way. You need to be getting the ball. And I’m going to do everything I can to help you.” Holmes went on to lead the league in rushing that year, but Richardson didn’t get jealous or resentful. Holmes recalled, “he used to call me up and say, “I just saw you on SportsCenter! He was happier for me than I was for myself.”
Richardson’s other teammates over the years said similar things. He would constantly talk to them through the game, coaching, pushing, encouraging, and inspiring them. “I can’t explain it,” Richardson said, “but it just means more to me to help someone else achieve glory. There’s something about it that feels right to me.”
As parents and educators, we are striving to follow in Tony Richardson’s shoes at Summit School. We’re all passionately committed to helping students learn to “carry the ball,” and grow as exceptional young people and world-changers. I am thankful that parents and teachers work together to serve your magnificent children, and for the opportunity to impact their lives at Summit School. Health, children, family, and loved ones, are the blessings that will be on my mind and heart this Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful celebration with your family.
Source: Joe Posnanski, “Made to Last,” Sports Illustrated (August 23, 2010), pp. 49-51.