Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bill Curry and Willie Davis

Bill Curry
Last night at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Banquet, I had the privilege of meeting the legendary Bill Curry. Curry, a former NFL player, has been head football coach at several universities across the south, and just a short time ago, took the job as head coach at Georgia State University to initiate a football program there.


I’ve attended quite a few sports related events through the years due to my husband being a letterman at the University of Georgia, and it always touches my heart when someone of Curry’s stature speaks openly about what God has done in his life.

Particularly poignant was Curry’s confession of being Vince Lombardi’s twentieth and last draft pick for the Green Bay Packers. He spoke about how low he felt, how he didn’t know whether he could make it in the NFL.

Now, this was the mid-sixties during the heart of desegregation and racial tension. Many NFL teams had no African Americans on their rosters, but Vince Lombardi loved people and didn’t care what color skin you had as long as you could play football. A future inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Willie Davis, reached out to Curry, offered words of encouragement, and told him “he’d help get him through.”

Raised in the South, somehow Curry, too, had escaped familiar prejudices and grew to love defensive lineman Davis. Curry said, “Davis gave when it wasn’t fashionable.”

Years ago, Curry flew to California to meet with Davis and tell him how much he’d meant to him.

“Guess who spoke at the first meeting of the new Georgia State Football Team?” Curry asked.

That’s right--years later, Willie Davis flew here all the way from California for his friend, Bill Curry.

Curry said things happen in a football huddle, and some of them last forever.

He concluded by reciting from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5. “Blessed are…”

Blessed were we, Bill Curry, by your wonderful words of wisdom.



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