THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SPORTS THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN
As I often do….I was moved by a sports program that I saw on television today….which was about Chris Spielman and his wife Stephanie…..and her 11 year fight with breast cancer….when in the last days of her life, she, Chris and her children were participating in a cancer charity 10K…..where just before the finish line, she got out of her wheelchair….after being chair-ridden for the past 5 years….when she told Spielman that she wanted to walk across the finish line without the help of anything….to which she stood up and began to walk…..almost collapsing after a couple of steps when her oldest daughter held her up as she finished the race on her own two feet…..causing the man who took his football helmet off to take care of his wife during failing of her body to say….”It was the greatest achievement in sport that I have ever experienced.”…..with this coming from a man who felt he was born to play football.
Here was a man who had been a two-year consensus College Football All American at Ohio State University….along with winning the Lombardi Trophy for the best college football player in the country in 1987….who went on to be drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions in the NFL…..and after an 11 year career in which Spielman went to 4 Pro Bowls and was selected to 3 All Pro 1st Teams as a linebacker….and this man called his wife’s getting out of her wheelchair and walking over the finish line the greatest achievement he had ever seen in sport…..and that is when it hit me once again….just how powerful sports can be for people…..for here was a woman whose body had been ravaged by a horrible disease…..but still had the “mental power” that sports can bring….to get folks over the finish line of life.
As the program ended….after wiping the tears off my face that this program had produced….as I was watching the credits start to scroll on the TV….there it was….as this moving video was an NFL Films production. If you have read enough of my DOG COMMENTARY pieces…..and watched enough of my vintage NFL videos that I have posted on this webpage…..you know full well that I believe that Ed and Steve Sabol……founding father and son team of NFL Films Inc.…..set the gold standard for any and all NFL related films to follow……as my vintage NFL Films videos were produced back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s…..and I saw this new NFL Films production on Chris and Stephanie Spielman on December 20, 2016….simply gives verification that I know what I speak of…..even though I am just a lil ole chiweenie dog Sportsphile…..for this 2016 version of an NFL Films video is further evidence of what I said then…..and know now.
This “oldschool” NFL Films video seen below is about one of the truly great coaches and men in NFL history….who was head coach of the Minnesota Vikings….Harry Peter “Bud” Grant, Jr…..who was a former coach and player of American football and Canadian football. Grant served as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) for eighteen seasons….being the team’s second (1967–83) and fourth (1985) head coach…who Before coaching the Vikings was the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) for ten seasons….where he coached the winning team of the Grey Cup four times. Grant is the most successful coach in Vikings history and the third most successful professional football coach overall behind Don Shula and George Halas….putting him in “high cotton” with a combined 290 wins in the NFL and CFL….who was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994. He was the first coach in the history of professional football to guide teams to the Grey Cup finals and the Super Bowl.
Grant attended the University of Minnesota….where he was a three-sport letterman in football, basketball, and baseball…..who after college played for the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA)….the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL….and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. On October 23, 2014, a statue of Grant was unveiled in front of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new stadium, Investors Group Field.
Bud Grant was a man of great stature and integrity…..who knew how to lead and motivate men to accomplish success at whatever they might do…..which makes this video worth watching.