Tuesday, July 17, 2012
When I think about friendship the model I always imagine is my Dad and Tony. Over the past week or so I've been reading Tony Dungy's first book, 'Quiet Strength'. It's been an amazing trip down memory lane for me as Dad coached under Coach Tony his entire career as an NFL head coach. From start to finish of the 'Dungy era' we were there. So it's been full of wonderful memories as well as some tough times of losing, firings, and the loss of Jamie. Going back through that as I read that book has brought all of it back to me.
Perhaps what stands out above all else is the model of friendship that I've watched these two have. As I was reading the chapter in which Coach Tony describes how he and my Dad would take a long walk before every game and talk about life, their faith, and their families I find that more than ever I respect their friendship. It's always been based first and foremost on their shared love the Lord. As he talked about their bible study in which they read through the bible in a year, every single year, I was inspired...I've watched my Dad do this every single year of his NFL coaching career and this will be his 17th time, I believe. When we talks about how they started All Pro Dad (where I now work) because of their shared belief in the importance of family, I teared up.
Friendship. I've talked about it on this blog hundreds of times. But as I read about their friendship over the course of life - from getting fired in Tampa, to winning a Super Bowl in Indy, to losing a child, 4 adoptions, 2 marriages (of kids), and countless highs and lows these two know what friendship is about. I realize that I want that. That level of commitment and accountability. Someone who's desperate for the Lord and always leading me back to that place when I struggle.
These two have weathered a great many storms and having had the insiders look I can say they are both men of unwaivering faith. God is first in their lives. And after that their families, their friendships, and somewhere far down the line is football. It's what they do, but it's never been who they are. I find that as I get older I'm even more impressed by their friendship and I have a deep desire for something like it in my own life and walk.
Perhaps there will be more about Quiet Strength as I finish it up this week but I had to take the time to talk about friendship, one more time. These guys, they know how it's done.