Remember in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, once our President came out of hiding, his very first words were something to the effect of “Don’t let the terrorists defeat us. Go buy something! If we stop buying, the terrorists win!” I was in Houston at the time and immediately plunked down $14 for a Houston Texans T-shirt. I wanted to do my part to defeat terrorism by purchasing something, by spending my money.
Aside from the way those government statements prove that we are a nation of consumers and if we stop buying things our country will cease to exist, I want to do my part today in the aftermath of the burglary to forge ahead and act normally. Bonny’s feverishly finishing up the bulletin. Kipi’s frantically pulling the Elijah musical together. So, I’m going to unveil today’s football player in the countdown to football season.
I know you’ve been waiting.
#42 is Ronnie Lott, one of the hardest-hitting defensive backs in football history. Lott was a team captain on the 1978 Southern Cal National Championship squad, a consensus All-America, and a two-time All-Pac-10 selection. The 49ers drafted him #1 in 1981 and he went on to record seven interceptions that rookie season, taking three of them back for scores. He took the 49ers to six NFC Championship Games and led them to four Super Bowl wins. And a lot of that success was at the expense of the Danny White-led Cowboys.
Tom Landry said nobody dominated the secondary like Lott. He was fast. He was intimidating. And he was tough. Toward the end of his career, while he was with either the Jets or the Raiders, he smashed his pinky finger. It was going to require season-ending surgery. And he told the doctors to cut it off instead. They did. He didn’t miss a game.
14 years in the NFL, ten Pro Bowls, four rings, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the USC Hall of Fame.
It wasn’t an easy choice. Charley Taylor, the great Redskins running back; Dolphins wide receiver Paul Warfield; and Sid Luckman, the genius quarterback of the 1940s Bears all wore #42. ‘
But Ronnie Lott was one of the backup singers on Huey Lewis and the News’ “Hip To Be Square” on the “Fore” album. So he’s the guy.
Now I’m heading home for the night. What a day it’s been. A pretty lousy start. And mostly up and down since. But the cops are gone. The glass is all cleaned up. And this place will be bustling again tonight with more VBS Musical rehearsals and the coming and going of our visitation groups.
I’m calling my dad and try to do for him over the phone what I wanted to do today on the blog. Happy 65th birthday, dad. I love you.