I’ve traveled extensively and no matter where I go, I ultimately run into a former teammate, an opponent or a player I’ve coached…….
February 26, 2023 – The “Lion” and the “Charger” crossed paths again….. after 40-plus years.
It was an early morning update at my favorite Missouri get-a-away; “Big Cedar Lodge.” A freakishly large man emerged from the office as I stood at the coffee bar prepping my java and mentally planning my day. “Don and Diana?” he inquired. “Man does he look familiar,” I thought as we followed the giant with the slight limp into the office. “Bill Elko,” he said as we exchanged brief ‘social pleasantries.’….. We settled in, and the conversation slowly unfolded. We learned that Bill played football at LSU and in the NFL.
“Where at and when,” I aggressively injected into the chatter….. “I was a nose tackle with the San Diego “Chargers”…. “I knew it,” I quickly snapped back, “I was a guard with Detroit. We went head to head a couple of games,” I informed as a wave of Déjà Vu washed over me. …….The conversation was off and running as we rehashed and embellished our epic battles. We shared stories concerning mutual teammates and old football friends …. the “Lion” and the “Charger” who locked horns decades ago were soon locked up again …. (no, we didn’t go one-on-one in the hallway or pull the office chairs together for an Oklahoma drill)….. we ‘locked-up’ and took a picture …… The Gridiron Gladiators had reignited that competitive burn, that spark, that intensity that once defined them……. running into a teammate, an opponent, or a former player, never gets old …. Respect – it always puts a smile on my face……..
…. FOOTBALL FOREVER!