- Role Model
by Bryan Wagner
In January, I had the great privilege of attending the Athletes in Action Breakfast at the
Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. As a boy growing up, I had many heroes in the world of
sports, so you can imagine my delight at finding out that the keynote speaker for that
breakfast was the one and only Bart Starr. In case your memory needs refreshing ... or
(gasp!!!!) you've never heard of him before ... he quarterbacked the Green Bay Packers for
16 years ....was named MVP in Super Bowls 1 and II ? He was named to the Pro Bowl Team 6
times .... and returned to the Packers as head coach from 1975 to 1983. In 1977 he was
inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not a bad resume, huh? The following is
exerted from his speech to a spellbound audience in which he defined focus words that
meant a lot to his life and his relationship with Jesus. I think we'll all find them
helpful in putting things into their proper perspective with God, family, friends and the
world around us.
"ATTITUDE" - "With the proper attitude, it's amazing what we can
accomplish. It?s the single most powerful word and weapon of strength we have. If our
attitude is such, we can overcome the things which keep us from God and Jesus."
"GOALS" - "What are your goals? What is your mission statement? What do
you want to do? What do you want to be? Live a life of integrity and make a difference in
the lives of others."
"PRIDE" - "Be proud to be in a family of God, one of God's children.
When people see and sense that, they want to be with us. They want to be around us."
"ENTHUSIASM" - "When we are enthusiastic, it's amazing what we can do in
someone's life. Enthusiasm is contagious."
"TALENT" - "God gives us the talent. His challenge to us is to go out and
enhance it. He gives us the talent of awareness and courage."
"PRIORITIES" - "God, family, and others- in that order."
"DISCIPLINE" - "Elijah Pitts and I played together for almost 9 years and
he never made a mental error. He never knew if he would ever start, but he was so
disciplined, so sound fundamentally, so well prepared and so organized that he never made
a mental error."
"GOODNESS" - "We read so much about the misfits today but there are still
by far more good people. It is becoming increasingly difficult to be tolerant of a society
that has such sympathy only for the misfits, the maladjusted, the criminals. Should we
have sympathy for them? Yes! But I think it's time we stood and cheered for the winner,
the leader -someone who looks for something extra to do for his God, his family, his
"INTEGRITY" - "If we are honest, if we earn trust and respect of others it
is amazing what those people will give us in return."
"RESPONSIBILITY" - "How responsible are we? We don't want to step up up and
take responsibility for our actions. God looks to us to be responsible, not to blame
someone else. God tells us to put it on His shoulders."
"TEAMWORK" - "If your team is strong at home, it will be strong at the
office. We have to be team players wherever we are."
"COMMITMENT" - "We won't do any of this unless we have a burning desire, a
true commitment to do something."
"LOVE" - "The benevolent concern, compassion for someone else. I think we
need to display that. It's amazing what we can accomplish within our family, our team, our
organization, wherever we might be."
"EXCELLENCE" - "Not a casual happening. We create it be seeking to enhance
the God-given talents which we have and take them up to the next level. Seek to excel!
"SENSE OF HUMOR" - "Tough things will happen to us. I think we need to be
able to laugh at ourselves."
I hope you can take Bart Starr's focus words and apply them to your life, as I will strive
to do. May God bless you!
Bryan Wagner is a former NFL punter. He played on several teams during his career
including the original Cleveland Browns. Bryan currently works as a financial consultant,
and lives in Northeast Ohio, with his wife Robin and their three children.