Posts Tagged ‘football’

NFLer Earnest Byner’s Triumph Over Public Humiliation

September 3, 2009
earnest-byner

Earnest Byner was introduced as the Tennessee Titans' new running backs coach on March 10, 2008

Football player Earnest Byner will forever be linked with The Fumble. What is The Fumble? Any rabid NFL fan will tell you that it was the turning point of the AFC Championship game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos on January 17, 1988 at Denver’s Mile High Stadium.

With 1:12 left in the game, running back Byner appeared to be on his way to scoring the game-tying touchdown, but was stripped of the ball by Broncos defensive back Jeremiah Castille, and fumbled at the 3-yard line. Denver recovered the fumble and Cleveland ended up losing 38-33, another heartbreaking defeat for a city renowned for them.

Byner went on to have an outstanding NFL career that included a Super Bowl championship with the Washington Redskins. At the time of his retirement in 1997, Byner ranked within the NFL’s top 30 all-time leaders in rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards and total yards.

Why am I writing about football? Because of the way Byner handled his notoriety. He was devastated at first but eventually came to see the value of such a public, humiliating failure. On the August 27, 2009 edition of the nationally syndicated Jim Rome Show, Byner said:

It was really a spiritual thing that I had to go through to kind of forgive myself for not being successful in that particular instance in my life. The reality is, it stuck with me probably about three, four years. And the thing that was most difficult, (more…)

Diversion, Good . . . Obsession, Bad.

September 21, 2008

roosevelt-dimes-albumI’ve always loved hobbies and collecting things. In my younger days, I spent many happy hours immersed in my baseball card, comic book, coin and stamp collections. I still harbor dreams of starting up some of those hobbies again someday.

However, such healthy pastimes can morph into unhealthy obsessions. So can a love of following sports. Or reading junk novels. Or trading stocks. Or watching escapist television shows. (I’m reminded of comedian Bill Arnold’s joke: “I saw a survey that says the average American watches 5½ hours of television a day. Can you believe that? I mean, c’mon . . . they’re missin’ a lot of good shows!”stamp-album

Turning to hobbies, guilty pleasures or other mindless activities to relieve stress for a few hours can be a wonderful thing. Using them to escape life altogether is something else entirely.

football-fan-painted-faceThere’s nothing wrong with watching a couple football games every week, following the rest of the league online, and playing fantasy football with a group of pals. But there’s nothing right about (more…)