The Haggar Gold Jacket Report is a weekly update on recent news surrounding the very select group of men who’ve earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This was a busy week for Hall of Fame running back MARSHALL FAULK. First, he returned to his alma mater, Carver High School in New Orleans, La., to accept his Hometown Hall of Famer™ plaque presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance.
He then traveled to Missouri to honor one of the ten finalists for the U.S. Army – Pro Football Hall of Fame – Award for Excellence. The program, which was originally announced by Pro Football Hall of Famer SHANNON SHARPE at the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, highlights the achievements of student athletes across the country.
"The Pro Football Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission to educate and promote the excellence that comes with America's favorite game, football, and combine it with the U.S. Army's mission of excellence in school, community service and through athletics,” said George Veras,president and CEO, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises. “We are excited to recognize these ten student-athletes for their outstanding achievements and hard work.”
Marshall presented the finalist award to Drew Henbest at Cassville High School in Cassville, Mo. in front of family, classmates, friends, faculty and staff on Tuesday Oct. 16.
"Athletes and Army Strong Soldiers possess a unique and similar set of strengths," said John Myers, Director of Marketing U.S. Army Marketing and Research Group. "We are excited to partner with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and to recognize these outstanding student-athletes; athletes who excel in their area of sport and who also excel academically. The most important attribute is that they are upstanding members of their communities. We look forward to joining with the ten finalists in San Antonio in January and celebrating their achievements."
The ten finalists for the Award for Excellence will also travel to the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and participate in various activities throughout the end of the year. The winner of the Award for Excellence will be announced during the Bowl's formal Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.
Another Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, FLOYD LITTLE, released a new autobiography last month called "Promises to Keep: My Inspired Run from Syracuse to Denver to the Hall." The book is about more than just football: it's about the obstacles and challenges everyone faces in life, and how to find success despite setbacks.
"There are three kinds of people in this world: those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that don't know what happened," Little said. "You have to decide what you want to do with your life, and I chose to make things happen in my life."
Little’s goal for success revolves around keeping a positive attitude.
"Every morning I wake up, brush my teeth and scream at the top of my lungs, 'Today is the best day of my life, and tomorrow has got to be better,'" Little said. "I start my day with a positive attitude every day, and when you have a positive attitude, it's a key to success - you make better decisions, you live better, you look better and you enjoy every day of your life."
Hall of Fame great WILLIE DAVIS also released a book in September called "Closing the Gap: Lombardi, the Packers Dynasty, and the Pursuit of Excellence." Davis joined FM KXL News 101 radio host John Canzano on Wednesday to discuss the book, talk about his football career and what it was like playing for Hall of Fame coach VINCE LOMBARDI.
"He made life so believable to me, I can remember once when he said, ‘don't kid yourself. The way you act, the way you play this game is part reflection on the way you live the rest of your life.’"
Davis' success in life continued far after he left the gridiron. His book recounts how after his football career he went back to school to earn a Master’s degree in business and built a reputation as a respected businessman in America. He writes about his time serving on the board of directors for Fortune 500 companies and his experiences as a minority in the business world.
"As recently as the 1980s, corporate America was still lacking in terms of minorities in upper management positions," Davis wrote. "I also found it fascinating how intrigued and sometimes even uncomfortable certain board members were in terms of dealing with a black director.
“I can say truthfully that I never once encountered any kind of blatant racism or even really any bad feelings toward me and my involvement,” he continued. “Instead it was more of an uncomfortable adjustment at times for companies that had been so used to doing things a certain way. They wanted to change, they wanted to broaden their world perspectives, especially when it came to issues related to minorities, who were becoming a much larger customer base with each passing year. It was like anything else at the beginning. It was sometimes awkward as they took those first steps."
Links Related to this story:
HOF Bios: Willie Davis | Marshall Faulk | Floyd Little | Vince Lombardi | Shannon Sharpe
More: Hometown Hall of Famers™ | Photo Gallery: Vince Lombardi
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