Sunday, December 26, 2004

Reggie White Remembered

It's hard to communicate just how well-liked Reggie White was. He was admired both on and off the field. His love of the game was contagious, and as a result his legion of fans grew. Though he played in Philadelphia as well, to Cheeseheads he will always be a Green Bay Packer.

While we did not know him but from afar, Reggie seemed to all Packer and Eagle fans to be a very special football player, but more importantly, a very special human being. The world is better off because of him, but this morning we are a little worse off without him.

Brett Favre's golden arm and incredible toughness will be what is most remember about this Packers revival, but I feel safe claiming that a third Super Bowl title wouldn't have happened without #92. It wasn't just that Reggie White was the most dominating defensive end in NFL history. By White coming to Green Bay it told the rest of the league that the Packers were serious about winning. As Tom Silverstein writes, "Soon after his arrival, the Packers were able to recruit free agents from all walks of life because they had the great Reggie White recruiting for them."

Back when I worked in a record store in the 80's, I had this friend Kevin, a Cowboy fan, who was fond of saying "Damn, damn Reggie White!" Every time I see Reggie's name, I can hear Kevin saying that.

Damn, damn Reggie White. One of my football heroes is gone. RIP, man.

I have never been a football fan, but it was hard to miss the end of Reggie White's football career, and the beginning of his new career in ministry. His death last night shocked me. While definitely a controversial individual, it also seems clear to me that he new God intimately. Godspeed to him on his new adventure, and prayers to his family.

Rev Steve:
I heard the news coming back from church this morning. He was an intimidating defensive player as the "Minister of Defense" and an outspoken witness for faith in Christ. He was missed when he retired from the Packers and he will be missed in defending the inner city from drugs and poverty. God bless the White family.

I greatly respected and admired Reggie White. Although he played an unglamorous position, and played for the archrival Packers, he was always one of my favorite players. He was fearless both on the field and off, and his determination to speak openly about Jesus Christ made him a man I wished to emulate in my own public life. . . .

His race was far too short, but it was well-run indeed. May God richly reward him and give strength and comfort his family.

Captain Ed:
As a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings, the sight of Reggie White bearing down on the quarterback made me nervous for 15 years. Even though I rooted against him, his skills and his sportsmanship made it impossible to dislike him. He made the game fun for the fans and tried in his short life to build stronger communities through his belief in Jesus Christ. His passing saddens me, especially since I believed that White had so much more to teach us, but I feel comforted knowing that the Lord will look after him now.

Reggie was this great football player and seemed to be a wonderful Teddy Bear of a man. I will always think of him after the Super Bowl victory when he was running around the Super Dome in his brand new Super Bowl Champions t-shirt down to his knees. He brought so much happiness to the people of Wisconsin and seemingly to everyone else whose life he touched. Godspeed, Reggie.

The Big Trunk:
Reggie White joined with Brett Favre in leading the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls and one championship. While making his mark as the dominant defensive lineman of the modern era, he became an ordained minister and pastor. As a public spokesman for his religious beliefs, he combined decency and strength. "It is wonderful to have a giant's strength," Shakespeare writes in Measure for Measure, "but tyrannous to use it like a giant." Dead at age 43, Reggie White had a giant's strength that he used to lead free men for worthy purposes. RIP.


Post a Comment

<< Home