Guest Column: Alex35332
The last 30 or so posts on this blog have been Redskins-centric, so why change it up now? I promise to consider thinking about maybe posting something about the Nationals next week, but for today, we have a guest blog from Alex35332 (the prize for winning the haiku challenge):
DC fans have a lot to be happy about right now. If you grew up in the Washington/Baltimore area in the 80's and 90's this Saturday probably brings closure to your childhood. For me personally three childhood sports heroes are all in their respective HOF's come Saturday. Cal, went in a year ago. Green, Monk this year.
They are the men who kids in my neighborhood idolized, and it was a big deal going to watch any of them play. Playing little league baseball and soccer almost everyone went for 8, 28, and 81 as there uniform number, being a Z name I always got last pick on my number so I never got them. I remember, when my Cub Scout troop went to see Art Monk at a restaurant, and what stuck with me to this day is how much of a normal guy he seemed with the uniform off. Growing up in Baltimore/DC during the 80's and 90's they were the best three role model athletes one could have. When I watched them as a kid, I did not watch them to really think," I want to be a ball player", rather, they made you want to be the best at whatever you did sport or not.
What did we learn from watching all three? We learned how to be true professionals. It's not about being the shining star or getting on the highlight tapes for ESPN, they all did for sure, but you never got the feeling that it was why they went on the field every day. It's about doing something you love, and trying to do it better than anyone else can, setting a high goal and tring to reach it. It's about showing up every day regardless of injury or the other things in your life.
I never missed a day of high school because I wanted to emulate that behavior of the Iron Man. When I broke 3 toes as a door-to-door canvasser in college, I went to work the next day because that's what 28 would have done. Even now I would rather see my company get all the praise for a video I did than take credit myself, because Art Monk's humble nature showed me the value of that kind of attitude.
Mr. Ripken, Mr. Monk and Mr. Green are all iron men, in fact they are all stronger than iron, because over time iron rusts and through their long careers they never really did. Even today all three are active members of the community in the region, and I would be willing to bet if you put them on a field they can still get it done.
-Alex35332 (Alex Zeese)
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