Thursday, May 24, 2007

To Those Who Accept... We Thank You


As many of you may have read in one of Matt's previous blogs, one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective forms of feedback that is largely lacking in today's society is a simple "Thank You". Today my thank you goes out to Henry Burris and Damon Allen of the CFL.

We on swim upstream have broadcast as many stories about athletes abusing their platform as anybody else... those who make millions of dollars, neglect any sort of social obligations, and then feel that the world owes them the platform to play a sport they love and make millions by holding out for more money, or acting like spoiled idiots in their public and private lives.

And then there are the real treasures... those kinds of people with small town values and ethics you hear about meeting in Newfoundland. Anytime you meet someone with these values - it is a rare and special treat. When they just happen to be famous, and have the pressures of performance, the media, available women, alcohol, drugs, and many other pressures; and yet retain those unreal morals... it becomes all the more rare and rewarding.

So Thank You Henry Burris for organizing a classy event in your spare time (of which you have little) to benefit Big Brothers and Sisters (Henry himself being a mentor). Thank you for taking the time to talk, be a real person, and give back to the community, as well as take a real vested interest in those who live in said community. This is the kind of starting quarterback any professional franchise would be lucky to have, and the kind this city has fallen in love with.

And thank you to all the professional athletes who took time out of their busy schedules to attend, give of their time, sign autographs, play in a charity softball game, etc. A special thank you goes to the man who has acheived the most of the entire group professionally (with a special side-note to Don Narcisse and Jeff Garcia), yet who has remained perhaps the most humble... Damon Allen.

Damon Allen's introduction took literally 3 or 4 minutes, highlighting only the best, and in the 6 to 8 minutes I got to spend with him, none of those highlights came up. The conversation revolved around life, and how those who have been given opportunities, have also been given responsibilities.

So on behalf of our entire community in Calgary, and the larger community of swim upstream, to those who accept the task of responsibility, and being a role model... and who do so gratefully,

Thank You. You will be remembered for more than just how many touchdowns you score by your fans, and we will all be remembered by the game of life not by the games we won, but by the people we won over with our character.

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