Darrell Green: Life in the Fast Lane
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Two months before his 38th birthday, Darrell Green became the oldest player in NFL history to return an interception for a touchdown.
Now, after celebrating his 40th birthday, the Washington Redskins cornerback continues to shatter records along with doubts that a person his age can excel on an elite athletic level.
"He still runs around at practice like a rookie," Redskins coach Norv Turner said. "I know our guys get tired of hearing me talk about him, but our young players are awfully lucky to have an opportunity to see how a guy like Darrell prepares and plays the game."
The significance of Green's age parallels that of his size, a mere 5-foot-8, 184 pounds. Over the years the cornerback has soared past and tackled bigger and stronger opponents on and off the field. Four times Green won the NFL fastest man competition, beating such notables as Willie Gault, Ron Brown, and Herschel Walker. He earned 1996 NFL Man of the Year honors and, despite his size, has built a resumé that includes three Super Bowls and seven Pro Bowls.
"I'll tell you what, there is no room to boast at all in terms of when I look at myself," Green said. "I'm a weakling kind of guy. But there's a grace there to do what I'm asked to do, whether tackling or running or catching. It has been a real honor to witness the awesomeness of God in how He's gifted me physically. It's incredible."
While the years and the pounding chip away at most veterans' energy and drive, Green claims it is his personal relationship with Jesus Christ that has provided perseverance and a constant motivation.
"As a Christian, my motivation is to be the best I can be," Green said. "Scripture talks about doing whatever you do with all your heart as unto God. So you have to be motivated by something bigger than the game or the money or the victory. As a man of God, that is what has driven me to excellence. I don't always win, but I'm driven to give my best all the time. That's what's important."
Green's drive for excellence is evident off the field as well. He founded the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation that provides financial and moral support for youth and their families.
Green has maximized his God-given football platform to serve others and will undoubtedly continue to do so long after he wears his burgundy and gold jersey for the last time. And, he said, only God knows when that will be.
What is your main motivation in life? Are you motivated by the wrong things? Place your focus on God by accepting Christ into your heart today. You can pray something like this:
"Dear Jesus, I realize that I am a sinner and haven't put You first in my life. Thank You for paying for my sins through Your death and resurrection. I invite You to come into my heart. Please be my motivation for living and help me do my best for Your glory. Amen."
Used by permission of Sports Channel of Crosswalk.com. To read about other athletes, visit http://sports.crosswalk.com.
© 2002 Good News Publishers. Used by permission.