‘BE THAT PERSON’
One of the key themes of Lynch’s speech, which ties into the section above, was that of belief and being someone who can instill it in others.
“As everyone up here will attest, it takes a lot of belief to get to this stage,” Lynch said. “However, belief is not something that simply happens. It has to be nurtured a million times over. A note. A pat on the back. A piece of advice. Coaching. These are the things that foster belief in ourselves.”
Lynch acknowledged several people who did that for him, including Walsh and Green. He credited his entire family for their love and support, but singled out his wife as the person who most helped him reach this triumphant moment.
“I would not be here today if not for one person: my wife and my best friend, Linda Lynch,” Lynch said. “I met Linda in seventh grade in our hometown of San Diego. Linda, you have inspired me as a man, a father, a husband and a leader. For 15 years as an NFL player and nine years with the NFL on FOX, Linda wrote a note to me that I read before every single game. She didn’t ever miss one. Her notes always calmed me, focused me and drove me to be my best self. Babe, I love you more than you will ever know, and I’m so grateful and thankful to share this life-changing moment with you.”
Linda may have been that person for John, but he could recognize that anyone can have an impact on another’s life.
“As my journey illustrates, one person can make a difference,” Lynch said. “I encourage each and every one of you to be that person who provides someone else with the belief that they too can be great. Make God bless you all.”
BRIDGING THE GAP
Near the end of his speech, Lynch carved out space during his limited time for a subject close to his heart: growing understanding.
“[T]he National Football League is the greatest metaphor for life that I’ve ever known,” Lynch said. “It challenges each and every one of us that plays this great game in every way possible. Everything about the game is hard and tests your will. It compels every man that puts on a uniform to not only do their best, but to be their best. In football we quickly discover we’re only as strong as our weakest link, and if we’re to achieve the goals that we’ve set for ourselves, we must all learn to play together and pull together.
“Each of us comes from a different walk of life, but when we huddle up, we huddle up as a team. It doesn’t matter where we come from or your background. All that matters is the fulfillment of one goal: victory. Tonight, I advocate that we take the lead of football and huddle up as a people, as a great nation. Let’s find the common ground through our shared values. Let’s celebrate and learn from our differences. Derrick Brooks, from Pensacola, Florida; Warren Sapp, from Apopka, Florida; and John Lynch, from Solana Beach, California, have. So too can all of you.”
Originally found on Read More