We all have heard the stories of the athlete gone wild, most of us can’t understand how one can work so hard to reach the pinnacle earning multimillion dollar contracts and throw it all away with character flaws, and behavior issues stemming from a lack of self-discipline the chief element of successful life skills. Most recent Aaron Hernandez the Super Bowl Winning Tight End that played for the New England Patriots who was serving a life sentence for murder before he took his own life in a prison cell. Terrell Owens is one of the most talented wide receivers ever to put on a pair of gloves. He seemed to destroy the fabric of each team he played for with an ego that led to personality conflicts yet amassing Hall of Fame statistics. And then there’s Johnny Football better known as Johnny Manziel the poster child for what not to do in sports or life.
The celebrity of being a sports hero in high school, college, or the professional level comes with a lot of challenges. Like a house, one must have a good solid foundation, or it’s just a matter of time before it crumbles. A good inner circle of family and friends people that don’t tell you what you want to hear instead what you need to hear is a must. One has to be strong in faith and character otherwise the glamor and all the elements associated with the success and lack of positive life skills can derail it all.
Tonight we celebrate the good guy in sports the one that’s not in the headlines for the game-winning touchdown or jump shot at the buzzer the one that makes a difference on the team and their community with their positive attitude. Yes being a good guy can get you some shine thanks to a program called Positive Athlete Georgia founded by successful businessman Scott Pederson, two-time super bowl winning, and 2017 nominee for the Football Hall of Fame “Georgia Boy” Hines Ward. These two created the program as a movement to bring more positivity to youth sports. OMG, what a concept!
In addition to excellence on the field, each student had to show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, the ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.
Hines Ward said, “We did not put out a search for the best athletes in Georgia, we put out a search for kids with positive attitudes whose efforts don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheets.
This is not for public or private schools only; this is a good person that happens to play sports program, 4,700 nominations of young people from all walks of life were submitted.
“The most successful business men and women are positive individuals, so we’re using sports to help instill those characteristics at a young age,” said Scott Pederson, President of Positive Athlete Georgia. ” Positivity is a life skill that will help any young person deal with relationships, obstacles, and opportunities.”
Coach Dan Reeves Super Bowl Champion Denver Bronco’s and Atlanta Falcons was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Georgia Techs’ finest Josh Pastner for his positivity as a collegiate basketball coach. Kayla Robles as a collegiate athlete Valdosta State University. My fast friend the Voice of Atlanta Sports, Emmy Winning, Bob Rathbun the emcee for the evening was pleasantly surprised when he was asked to return to the stage for his award for Positivity in Broadcasting.
As sports writers, broadcasters, and photographers we get to cover exciting games our goals are to capture that action packed game winning play and either write or talk about while we are caught up in the jubilant atmosphere with thousands of fans. Rarely do we get to cover a sports-related event that positively impacts lives and rewards the good guy for being good and leave the facility as if though we made the game-winning play uplifted spiritually? The host site College Football Hall of Fame is a place of greatness what could be better for these outstanding young people.
Each year I cover the East/West Shrine Game a fundraiser to help pay for medical services for children born with deformities or experience life tragedies simply put they do everything an insurance company doesn’t regardless of their parent’s income or side of the track they were born. The Senior Bowl where top football players in the country come with positive attitudes hoping to raise their stock in the NFL Draft. As of tonight, I have added a third must do sporting event to my annual calendar Positive Athlete Georgia. No sells pitch needed, come one come all let’s get it right the good guy can win after all.