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This week’s Sports Illustrated ran a feature article that I thought inspirational for Mountain Takers. In the article, entitled, “Made to Last”, S.I. gave a close up look at the life and career of fullback, Tony Richardson. Tony has spent his 16 years in the NFL focused on two goals. His twin goals are making it easier for the record breaking running backs to achieve extraordinary feats, and working at training younger players to take his job.

He has earned the title best man, because he is always looking to help someone else have a great day, just like a best man at a wedding. He is not the star. He is the one who gives himself to help ensure the star’s success and rejoices in their victory. A quote from the article makes his motivation clear. “’To help someone else achieve glory,’ says, Richardson, ‘feels right to me.”’

Tony Richardson is a very practical, down to earth picture of Jesus’ words in John 15:13, “Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” In his position as fullback, this is has a very physical side. His job is to run ahead of the running back and block the offensive players from being able to tackle the runner. In the article, this activity is compared to “running full force into a garage door…And football’s best man has hit a lot of garage doors.”

However, the next paragraph goes on to say, “It has been worth it, Richardson will tell you, because of all those players he helped have a great season.” Tony Richardson is ready and proud to run into the “garage doors” of the opposition to help his team and his teammates. It is not first about him, but about them.

Mountain taking requires team work just like that displayed by Tony Richardson on the football field. And it is not just about helping some “star”. Every team member is in need of the support of the whole team. And, every team needs someone who will take the lead in demonstrating what it means to put others first.

Might that be you, fellow Mountain Taker?

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