Tony Gonzalez: The Legend of the Atlanta Falcons' Tight End

Frank SpartiCorrespondent IISeptember 28, 2012

The legendary Tony Gonzalez in his final NFL season.
The legendary Tony Gonzalez in his final NFL season.Jeff Gross/Getty Images

There are times when a special mindset is necessary in order to realize the shear greatness that we have the good fortune to witness.

I remember attending my first football game at the Miami Orange Bowl, but not because the Dolphins were playing. The only player I knew of on Miami's team was Chief Wahoo McDaniel, and that was only because he was also a wrestler on TV.

No, I remember that game because I was able to see the legendary Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas. I watched in awe as he walked right by me with that flat top haircut and bigger-than-life stature.

Since then, many people have been thrilled by the brash confidence of Muhammad Ali or the graceful flying ability of Michael Jordan.

The very best come around so rarely that we should take the time to recognize greatness when it is in our presence.

Someday you will tell someone that you saw Tony Gonzalez play, and they will envy the opportunity.

I think we all know about his statistics and the many records he has broken. Some might say that some other so-and-so is better than him, but will he still be great a decade from now? Gonzalez has been great for 16 years.

Another thing that Gonzalez has in common with the legends listed above is how he changed the game. How he influenced new generations of kids to be just like him. How he made those around him better, just by being an example.

Good work habits and exceptional character get lost in the statistics that get tossed about. However, in what he says is most likely his final season, you are witnessing a football veteran that is going out on top.

I am glad that Roddy White and Julio Jones get to witness this as well. Each will benefit from the other's presence. Tony Gonzalez could have his best year in his final season. Who has ever done that before?