Archived Story

McDaniel’s philosophies great

Published 8:24am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am a Minnesota Vikings football fan. It’s been a tough year to admit that, but it’s still my favorite sport to watch on TV. One of my all-time favorite players is Randall McDaniel, the Hall of Fame right guard.

Since McDaniel’s retirement, he has only grown in stature. I once heard him state that his favorite statistic was that he NEVER missed a day of school from kindergarten through his senior year.

Ever since his football career ended, he has served as a second-grade basic skills instructor at an elementary school in the Twin Cities.

In a recent Minnesota State High School League Bulletin, there was a feature article on Randall McDaniel being inducted into the National Federation’s Hall of Fame based on his high school career. He was selected to speak on behalf of the 12 inductees for the Class of 2011.

Following are excerpts from his speech…

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to pursue two passions in my life. The first was football and the second is education. I believe my success for 14 years in the NFL and for the past 10 years in the classroom is a direct result of my experiences in high school sports.”

“Outside of my family and my wife, the lessons I learned through sports have had the greatest impact on me. I believe one of the most important factors in the path you choose in life is the experiences of your youth.”

“They say we learn all we need to succeed in life when we’re in kindergarten. But personally, I think the secrets to success can be found on the playing field. It’s where…

• we learn character matters — so you must be responsible for you choices and accountable for your actions.

• we learn hard work pays off — so you must earn your way every single day.

• we learn no one gets anywhere by themselves — so you should listen to and respect those who came before you.

• we learn it’s the name on the front of the jersey … not the one on the back that matters — so you need to be a team player.

• we learn success is not limited by gender, race, or socio-economic status — so you should embrace diversity.

• we learn everyone has something to contribute — so you must work together to succeed.

• we learn true character is measured in the moments of defeat — so you should always respect your opponent and the game you play.

• we learn adversity is an opportunity to grow — so you should use it to make yourself better.

• we learn small actions can have a big impact — so you should use your talents to make a difference.

• we learn what matters the most are the relationships you build — so we must take care of one another.

“I think these 10 lessons are all we really need in life.”

Yes, Randall McDaniel is one of my favorite players. But, that’s too limiting — he is actually one of my favorite people.

Congratulations Randall McDaniel on your induction into another Hall of Fame.

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