- Sports Memorabilia or Collectibles (jerseys must be worn or they will be confiscated)
- Baseballs, Basketballs, Footballs or Hockey Pucks
Consequently, most fans seek out an opportunity to take a photo or selfie, an autograph on what they are wearing and/or shake their hand. Typically, the fan initiates the encounter; I am impressed by how gracious and engaging the celebrities are with the men, women, teens, and kids who come their way. This outreach, however, is not always a one-way street. My crew has a few stories but Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young comes to mind.
|So I'm just a little big of a fan of this group...Tim Brown ND '87 and 49er legends Steve Young and Jerry Rice|
It's not an understatement to say that being a great QB requires astute vision. I saw that in action beyond the football field at the tourney when Steve Young caught sight of a 10-year old boy on crutches among the throng of fans. He looked at this young man with this gaze that indicated he had been there before...he understood what it meant to break a bone...to be injured...to be less mobile and in pain. Young initiated the contact and extended that human touch. He put his arm on the boy's shoulder. I don't know what they talked about...I don't need to. The heart understands. And as Steve Young walked away, this boy's smile said even more. I think some internal healing took place.
I was reminded of this small act of kindness just Sunday at mass when I sat behind a man whose foot is in a sophisticated cast and boot. He too walked into Church on crutches and sought out a pew that allowed for easy access and space for his leg. I realized taking communion might be difficult for him. It wasn't. When the time came for the congregation to line up. the pastor left the front of the line to bring the Eucharist to an elderly couple sitting toward the back. They are rather immobile—no matter. Father Ken brought Christ to them....and then he offered Jesus' body to the man sitting in front of me...and to another elderly person. In fact, he does this at every Mass, I just needed to connect the dots. This simple act isn't difficult to do. It requires vision and perhaps some empathy, but what happens in the process of extending a little of that human touch is some sort of healing.
What that each of us were to go out of our way for the elderly or injured? What if we were to reach out to those who are broken and in need of healing first? What if we made time for the immobile and those in pain by simply extending a little human touch. And it's not the sole responsibility of the pastor of a parish or a pro-athlete (although it is—as we look to their example). No, this is a call for all Christians. Such actions are what the Gospel proclaims and reveals: it is in the giving that we receive....in serving we are served. Let us all in these divisive times, make some gesture of outreach to one another.
Great 3 man group