Years ago I heard Bobbie Caffey give a graduation speech on this very topic, and I have never forgotten that he used Lucille Ball as his example of fortitude and Never Give Up attitude. Bobbie cited the failures in the life of Lucille Ball, the unsuccessful years; however, the fiery redhead just kept on plugging away at her dreams, and she was over forty years old before she landed the successful I Love Lucy series! A long time to dream, isnt’ it?
I loved Lucy, but today my thoughts are on another success story that really shouldn’t have been a success story at all…Deacon Jones of Fearsome Foursome fame. Remember Deacon? And if you do, did you know that that great mass of defensive end should never have even made the pros?
Deacon Jones attended his first year of college at South Carolina state. I’ve never researched just why he sat out of school the next year, but sit out he did. Then in 1960, Deacon played his last season of college ball at Mississippi Vocational.
Now, the story should have ended there, but it didn’t. It seems that scouts from the Rams were watching the films of a couple of Deacon’s offensive opponents when they suddenly realized that this unknown defensive tackle could not only keep up with the smaller backs but could actually outrun them.
Deacon Jones, seven-time pro-bowler and two-time NFL top defensive player (while with the Rams), was a sleeper NFL pick, going in the 14th round to the Los Angeles Rams where he became a superstar, a defensive end of Fearsome Foursome fame.
So, back to my original question…Ever feel that Whatever is an impossibility? Ever want to just give up? From what I understand, even Sam Walton was broke before he was Mr. Walmart. If these huge success stories had to fight to win, we can too…and therein lies our message of hope!