Darrell Green talks about the constitution he lives his life by. (image via SCPstein)
I was fortunate enough to attend The Gazette of Politics and Business Annual Exceptional 53 Awards dinner in Bethesda, MD, on September 15th, where former Washington Redskin, Darrell Green, was the guest speaker. He shared the guidelines he follows to live his life, but also shared a comical Michael Westbrook story (shocker, Westbrook wanted to fight him) and the time Bobby Beathard ripped up his contract saying he's not wanted here. Say whaaat? That was certainly news to me:
On living a successful life...
#28: "Assess and establish the significance and importance of your existence. This is what I had to do. When I was a young man, my parents got divorced. I was just a little fellow, and somehow I started playing football in the 11th grade. The next thing I knew I was a walk-on in college. I went to college and the first semester my best friend got killed in a car wreck I was suppose to be in. Missed the car wreck. Went on for a year just distraught going to night school and came back a year later to that same school. Three years later I'm a #1 draft pick.
Christmas eve, 1983, my rookie year, I met my wife at Tysons Corner and I've been married 25 years. But I made an assessment. I sensed my Dad didn't know his Dad. My Dad was an alcoholic. My parents got divorced. I had a child before I got married. People are screaming my name, but I need to look at myself in the mirror. We all want to be successful, work hard, make money, you have access to people's hearts and minds and can influence them.
The assessment leads to a system - of how will I live this? I said to my wife and kids, "This is how we're going to do it." Repeat #1 and #2.
And then you do that over and over. How do you run a 4.2 when your fifty years old? How do you stay faithful to your wife? You do it over and over. I train everyday twice a day. Wax on.....wax off. How do you get fast? Your run fast. Everyday you run as fast as you can. Over and over. You marry your wife over and over. You love your kids over and over. In doing this, the exceptional becomes normal."
A Michael Westbrook story...
#28: "You remember Michael Westbrook? Big ole wide receiver. Man, every day in practice I'm killing him. Then one day after practice he wants to start fighting. I said, "Wait a minute, Mike! Let me tell you why you want to fight me. You want to fight me because I keep kicking your butt. Let me tell you why I keep kicking your butt - because that's what they brought me here to do. I like you. Ask the rest of the guys. I do it because that's my responsibility not because I like or dislike you. Now, if you want to fight....briiing it on!" (laughter)
We actually never did fight. I'm kind of glad because he did have a fight with another guy. But I did keep kicking his butt."
A person from the crowd asked on the importance of teamwork...
"I'm playing right corner, so I have 10 guys to my left. There's a guy 350 lbs and a running back behind him. It's 3rd down...the 350 guy is coming...it's gonna be me and him. If I hit the 350 lb guy, some of the other 10 can scrape and get the tackle. And that happens 3x a game. And over 20 years, whenever I was called upon as a teammate to do that, they could count on me. If I'm on your team, don't worry about what Darrell is going to do. Trust me...I'm going to be there. All I need is you to help me up. You can count on me. Every time."
On the importance of God in his life...
"My fourth year there wasn't even free agency, and Bobby Beathard tears my contract up and says, "We don't want you here anymore." Call him and ask him - it's true. The Denver Broncos wanted me, but God told me not to go. I did what God told me and [the Redskins] signed me for four times less. But, I'm just trying to be obedient to God and I'm glad I did."
On the current state of the Redskins...
"The leadership that Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen has brought in is real...and it's not just standing up to Albert Haynesworth. If you don't have leadership you're doomed. The leadership we had under the first Joe Gibbs has proved to be successful and they haven't had it since. This is my opinion the closest we've gotten to the right leadership which lends to success. Will it happen? I don't know but it looks good from the front office to the field...and you know what? Get your tickets!"
See...it's settled...God is a Redskins fan. Suck it, Dallas. I put a call in to talk with Bobby Beathard, which I'm still waiting for a reply on.