Last week, I visited my daughter Caroline in Ohio where she has just started working with the Cleveland Browns. While I was there, I attended a pre-season game for the NFL team where two really important players were injured. It’s always sad when someone gets hurt but it’s also powerful seeing the depth those players have, both individually and for their teammates.
While in Cleveland, I visited their training facility and spent some time researching the history of the Browns organization. In fact, I’m going to get a Leroy Kelly jersey so I can wear it to the next game I go to. He was a legendary Running Back with a powerful story.
Kelly followed Jim Brown, arguably the greatest Running Back in NFL history. Even though he had big shoes to fill, Kelly came in next and was an all-star player himself. When reflecting on his career, Kelly said, “I didn’t try to think about replacing Jim Brown. When I was sitting on the bench two years, I used to compare myself to the backs that were starting around the league, and I knew I was as good as most of them. I just want to be one of the best backs in the league, not a superman like Jim Brown was.” He went on to join Brown in the Hall of Fame!
It’s such an exciting story about the importance of having depth as a team but also a depth of character. It is remarkably difficult to follow someone successful – there is even a saying, “Don’t follow Moses.” Leroy Kelly did it at the highest level…and his success tells you all you need to know about his character.
What is a memory you have when your depth of character was revealed in an exciting way that you were especially proud of?