Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend

Well, we made it home safe and sound from Canton, and we're getting ready to go back to our real life. We will be eternally grateful to the Madden family for including us in this amazing time in their lives. Seeing the induction in person was humbling. I'm such an outsider to the world of football, but even I can appreciate the honor and excitement of being recognized as the best of the best. We were honored to be apart of the experience. There's nothing like having a front row seat at history being made and that is how this weekend felt.

Since we spent our weekend around Hall of Fame Inductions, I thought I would make a few nominations to my own Weekend Hall of Fame.

Biggest Jerk: From a bus we watch we saw Hollywood Henderson pose for pictures with a group of lovely young women with very little clothes on and ignore two little boys seeking autographs. The thing that was sad is we watched so many athletes go out of their way to accomodate autography seekers, yet this guy couldn't be bothered. Hollywood-if you are so insecure you have to wear your name on your back (he was wearing his jersey) , then perhaps you should feel flattered to sign for the kids and stop trying to score with the ladies. I nominate Hollywood Henderson to my own Hall of Fame.

Biggest Comeback: Since I was standing with the press at the Enshrinee Dinner I really spent some quality time looking at Troy Aikman. And ladies, this was not tough duty. But, during the time I spent gazing at him I noticed, he showed zero emotion. He never clapped for another inductee. All the others did. He never smiled or showed a flicker of emotion. Every other inductee was clearly excited, nervous and/or jubiliant. I was left with the impression that Aikman "expected" this honor. He's a young man who was forced to retire early. He achieved Hall of Fame status before his 40th birthday. However, watching him break down repeatedly on Saturday made me realize, I shouldn't be so quick to judge. He spent years controlling his emotions on the field of play, I guess that I witnessed his control on Friday night...nothing more. Therefore, I nominate Troy Aikman to my own Hall of Fame.

Best Show Stealer: All the pressure was on Sara White to deliver the speech of her life in her husband's memory. It couldn't have been easy. Reggie White, who died only 19 months ago, by all accounts was a great football player, but an even greater man. So, there she was, in the spotlight honoring her husband's legacy. Tough gig, but she stepped up. However, I think her son stepped just a little higher. As her presenter, he was involved in all the activities, and at a young age, he showed he has inherited his father's legendary character. From when he hoisted the plaque honoring his Dad over his head to when he prayed for his mother to be given strength to when he broke down unveiling his Dad's bust, the kid was a class act from start to finish...and I think helped take some of the pressure off his Mom. So, I nominate Jeremy White to my own Hall of Fame.

Best Host/Hostess: People of Canton were truly incredible. Yesterday we took a cab from Akron to Canton to visit the Hall of Fame. Getting there was easy. Getting back to Akron where we stayed, not so easy. There were 4 of us forelornly waiting on stone bench in a park where the Hall of Fame officials told us to wait for a cab. To say we were conspicuous tourists is an understatement. As random people walking in the park passed us, every single person greeted us kindly, asked where we were from, asked if we were enjoying our stay and told us how happy they were to have us. And it was like that everywhere we went. Just really friendly, nice people. The award for Best Host/Hostess has got to go to the People of Canton.

Most Excited Inductee: Hands down it was Madden. He positively floated through the entire weekend. He moved like a kid who doing a happy dance, all day, every day for 4 days straight. His excitement was infectious and created such a great energy in our group. I will forever remember the image of him smiling, beaming really, as he was first introduced at the Enshrinee Dinner. And I think that is why he is so popular. He is so human, you can't help but like him. He's like your next door neighbor, your grandpa, your funky old uncle. He's just a guy, who loves what he does, and shares that passion with everyone. So, in my expert opinion, no inductee in this class was more excited and appreciated this honor more than John Madden.

Most Valuable Player: All games have an MVP and my MVP award goes to Auntie and Tio. These two are the best Aunt and Uncle a couple of wild girls could ask for. They planned special outings everyday we were gone, took the kids out to numerous meals, kept them clean and in line...what more could a couple of parents ask for? There is nothing like leaving without worry. We had that and it was thanks to the generosity, time and patience of Auntie and Tio. Auntie and Tio were definitely our Most Valuable Players.


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