Please read Panthers' PK John Kasay, Man of Inspiration at The Charlotte Observer's website. This story grasped my heart as well as my intellect.
Too often, I view athletes primarily through a lens of statistics and accomplishments. Frequently, we tend to stereotype placekickers in the NFL as eccentric oddballs or nerds who can help their team win a game with a needed field goal as the time runs out.
Therefore, I enjoy reading, reflecting, and responding to a human interest story about an athlete, even a placekicker who has kicked in the NFL seemingly forever—19 seasons.
I see that Kasay wants to lead a conference to inspire NFL coaches and their wives to inspire others. Kasay, his wife, and his outreach ministry are all inspirational.
But guess who in this story inspires me the most? Kasay's high school coach: Billy Henderson of Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga.
Henderson is 80-years-old and retired now. I used to live in Georgia and I recall a few of Henderson's Clarke Central teams losing in the AAAA or AAAAA State Championship game two or three times to Valdosta High School. His teams annually competed into the state of Georgia playoffs.
Between his high school and NFL career, John Kasay kicked for my Georgia Bulldogs, also in Athens, GA.
Please read the article again. Think about the person or people who inspired you and your life.
Behind almost every athlete, not matter how successful or not they end up performing on the professional level, was a coach, a parent, a teacher, or a community leader who inspired them in middle school or in high school, if not both.
Behind almost every writer here at Bleacher Report who inspires us, there was probably one or more people in their lives who inspired them to be the best that they can be.
Isn't that a significant part of what life is really all about?