chelsea headingWhile working out at the gym a couple of weeks ago a man, who had previously introduced himself, struck up another conversation. We chatted, as we had done before and then he pointed out a rather remarkable individual. This man was in a group of four and they all were taking turns on a set routine of weight machines.
My new friend pointed out the rather large man in the group and asked if I knew him. As I am barely a “gym mouse,” let alone a “gym rat,” I had to admit my lack of acquaintance to this large individual. Friend told me this man had been a professional football player for several years and with more than one team. My interest was aroused as I have only known one other professional footballer and he is now a TV sports talking head after a marvelous career.
My brain actually started working and I hoped I could use this man's life experience for something I thought would be good. Here he is in the Tulsa area after a football career which meant he had to have gone to college/university before becoming a professional. Taking into consideration what the Oklahoma Legislature is doing to education in Oklahoma I thought some good news may be a good thing.
I thought about it over the weekend and decided to ask him about an interview with how schooling can help young people. He readily agreed and we set the time up for when we would both be there and ready. I spent those two days thinking of questions as I have not done a one on one interview since I left the Henryetta paper several years ago.
His name is Keith Taylor and he was drafted in 1991 by the Denver Bronchos. Keith was drafted from the University of Central Oklahoma broncos which is also my Alma Mater so I knew instantly he was quality people. His 17 year career was divided among more than one team but he survived in good shape. Now take into consideration that he played on the line which is not a good place to expect longevity as a professional player. He lasted 17 years so he must have been good.
Keith graduated high school from a small town south of Little Rock, Arkansas named Malven. He was recruited by UCO and played there for his collegiate career. Just as a quick aside, I watched our Alma Mater win the national championship in Sacramento, California so football at UCO is not something taken lightly. He must have been big enough and good enough to get some scout's attention as Malven, Arkansas is not the first thought on a football junkie's mind. Keith is now 6'4” and 375 pounds which is, I am sure, above his playing weight.
He said it was his dream to go to college and play football. He stressed it was a blessing to get a “free” college education by playing. Yes, he had words of advice to young people and young players. He stressed listening to “your elders” as he indicated their experience would be valuable to a youngster.
Getting an education helps a person learn right from wrong and helps keep one on the right path. He told younger people to not “listen to bad vibes.” Keith emphasized that one should be a leader and not a follower. “Be a leader of things you value, “ he advised young people. That advice, of course, would apply to all. Getting to meet and talk with Keith was a highlight and one could tell from the intensity he spoke that he believed every word he said.
You probably remember that last week I told you of two instances where my bicycle betrayed me twice and tried to cause me bodily harm. Those two instances proved once again that I made the correct decision in not trying to become a professional bull rider. However, he says with baited breath, what happened to me this past weekend makes that pale in comparison.
An incident occurred that I still haven't quite figured out the “how” and “why” of how it happened. It was very painful and potentially dangerous. It was something that not one of you would want to be a part of. I shall not bore you with details but if you are interested I will be happy to answer/respond to a written question.
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