Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Is it OK to dream?
- 2013 - 845 articles
- 2012 - 1954 articles
- 2011 - 2029 articles
- 2010 - 2139 articles
- 2009 - 2066 articles
- December 2009 - 163 articles
- November 2009 - 166 articles
- October 2009 - 231 articles
- September 2009 - 161 articles
- August 2009 - 136 articles
- July 2009 - 153 articles
- June 2009 - 126 articles
- June 25th, 2009 (Thursday) - 18 articles
- June 24th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 7 articles
- June 23rd, 2009 (Tuesday) - 4 articles
- June 22nd, 2009 (Monday) - 1 articles
- June 20th, 2009 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- June 19th, 2009 (Friday) - 1 articles
- June 18th, 2009 (Thursday) - 19 articles
- June 17th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 4 articles
- June 16th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- June 13th, 2009 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- June 12th, 2009 (Friday) - 12 articles
- June 11th, 2009 (Thursday) - 9 articles
- June 10th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 8 articles
- June 9th, 2009 (Tuesday) - 1 articles
- June 7th, 2009 (Sunday) - 1 articles
- June 6th, 2009 (Saturday) - 1 articles
- June 5th, 2009 (Friday) - 10 articles
- June 4th, 2009 (Thursday) - 14 articles
- June 3rd, 2009 (Wednesday) - 9 articles
- June 2nd, 2009 (Tuesday) - 2 articles
- June 1st, 2009 (Monday) - 1 articles
- May 2009 - 164 articles
- April 2009 - 242 articles
- March 2009 - 204 articles
- February 2009 - 163 articles
- January 2009 - 157 articles
- 2008 - 1757 articles
|Is it OK to dream?|
I watched a movie the other night that starred Kevin Costner. I do not remember the name of the film, but I saw enough of the movie to cause me to run through memory lane.
I was a fair athlete. I experienced the joy of the lime light, but it was only on a small scale. First high school sports, then college football, and later, some professional football in Canada. I do have some good memories, but as I watched this motion picture about a professional baseball pitcher who was not only struggling with his age; but he also, had an injury that was compromising his athletic ability.
The movie led up to his final game of his career. He had accepted the reality that age and injuries had caught up with him. His final game was the theme from which great motion pictures evolve. What a mystical game A film where the message involved characters that could only be of heavenly ascent. What a game it was. He threw a perfect game.
As I sat there on my couch, I wondered what it must be like to take part in athletics on such a large magnitude. To participate in the pros. To perform in front of very large crowds on a regular basis in some of the largest cities in America. To play in an All-Star game. The World Series. The Super Bowl. Or any sporting competition on such a large scale.
I can only imagine what this scenario must be like. I can remember struggling with injuries on the high school and collegiate levels. It seemed as if every time that I was nearing some degree of success, I would face some type injury. I was not the most talented person in the world, but I was better than I thought I was.
My offensive backfield coach in college was the first coach that gave me the feeling that I was a good athlete. Up until this point in my life, I only thought that I had been lucky and whatever successes that I may have achieved was only a result of good fortune. Not until I had competed on the collegiate level did I have enough confidence to sense that I was good enough to contend with some of the better athletes. .
I loved to play football. I was not fast, but I never was caught from behind, either. I learned that there was a big difference between someone who was naturally fast and someone who had a burning desire to score.
I dreamed of playing professional football, even though there was only one coach who thought that I could play on a professional level. Coach Jim Coats, my college backfield coach at ULM, thought that I could play with the best of them. So many times in life, we need that person who believes in us until we can learn to believe in ourselves. Coach Jim Coats was that coach.
When I was coaching at Farmerville High School, I had a young man, who served as my student trainer. No one could take care of a training room like Richard Ballard. He knew what he wanted to accomplish in life and he knew exactly how he was going to get there. He had always dreamed of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Richard had lost his father when he was in the fourth grade and Coach Chiles Carpenter the varsity football coach took him under his wings and tutored him throughout the remaining years of his education. Coach Carpenter saw to it that "Chick's" dreams came true.With the encouragement from Coach Carpenter, Richard "Chick" Ballard became Dr. Richard Ballard.
I read in the newspaper several years ago where Chuck Finley who graduated from West Monroe High School and ULM was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame. I thought about how proud Big Chuck, Chuck's dad, and Chuck's Mom were of Chuck's successes. Big Chuck always reminded me that he was proud of all of his children. Lisa, one of his beautiful daughters, was one of my cheerleaders for our football team.
I thought that Chuck had lived a professional career that most of the world only dreams about. Playing professional baseball in the largest stadiums, in the major cities against some of baseball's greats would be a enormous vision for any young man. But when I thought more about it, Chuck had himself become one of baseball's greats himself.
Robert Charles Payne is an inspirational writer who lives in West Monroe. He can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.