The big game has come and gone and with it all the festivities. Congrats to the Saints!! What an amazing thing for that team to bring so much pride and happiness to New Orleans. Mardi Gras is just around the corner and I can only imagine the amount of partying that will go on in Louisiana until then. I myself am not much of a party animal, you will seldom fine me with my eyes open after 10 P.M. but I did participate in a few Super Bowl related activities during the week. Below is a quick rehash...well I always intend to be QUICK but I don’t have a way with words like the journalist so I often get long winded trying to describe my thoughts. Anyway here goes...
Monday: “A Night with the UM Greats”
This event at the Fountain Bleu turned out fabulous. A fundraiser for the University of Miami brought together NFL stars such as Michael Irving, Ed Reed, Antrel Rolle, Clinton Portis and many more. I think close to 100,000 was raised with auction items such as a set of all 5 hurricane national championship rings. Though it was cocktail attire the mood was very laid back with informal interviews. Each player had time to answer questions, tell stories and crack jokes. As the one of few UM female athletes having become a professional athlete and I believe the only one to be currently competing professionally it was an honor to have been invited to be part of the event.
Friday: Super Learning at Miami Edison Senior High
Events like this remind me why it is so important to use my platform as a role model to encourage change. Myself, Airizona Cardinal Antrel Rolle, Haitian Olympic boxer Andre Berto and Motivational Speaker Mack White were encouraging students to put there best foot forward on the upcoming FCAT and in life in general. The school has to improve by 60 points to stay open and the most a school has ever improved is 30 points. Though the odds are against them you can see kids who are dedicated to learning and expressing there educational goals through poems and raps and dances. This is a group of students some might be inclined to head in the opposite direction of if you saw them approaching but their appearance is not representative of their potential.
I am glad to see teachers embrace the cultural differences bridging the gap between the traditional ways of learning and the way that best fits the children of today’s society.
Saturday: AIA Super Bowl Prayer Breakfast
I wish this event got more coverage because it is great to dispel some stereotype’s about football players. The feature of this event is the Bart Starr award given to a football player exemplifying outstanding character and leadership in his home, on the field and in the community. This year Kurt Warner was the recipient.
I think the under lying theme this year was marriage and family. Bart Starr, Tony Dungy and Kurt Warner all made comments about how important their spouses have been in achieving their goals. Kurt even stated how he realizes that his platform is what allows him to receive the accolades when so often his wife has done much of the leg work in whatever project he is receiving an award for.
Michael Vick and Tony Dungy discussed how their relationship evolved, forgiveness and what having a second chance is all about. Tony made a good point about how you sometimes we applaud the rehabilitation of one and deny that another deserves a second chance. The lesson being you can’t choose to forgive one but not another.
Kurt told how his wife was instrumental in his coming to know the Lord and spoke about his decision to retire. He made two good points regarding both. As it relates to retirement people think you make your decision based on what happens Sunday but they forget about all that goes into preparing for Sunday. When you reach a point where you can't commit to doing the same things you have done in the past to reach your highest potential then it is time to move on and so he did. Then he spoke about meeting and dating his wife who had two children when they met. He chose to look at a women with kids as a great PACKAGE instead of a woman with BAGGAGE. That stuck with me and speaks volumes to what a great attitude will bring you in life.
It was an incredible week and I am glad to have been able to take advantage of the Super Bowl being so close to home. :-)