Beneath It All, A Warm Heart

Sometimes, the stories coming from the NFL surprise me. Or inspire me. But this story touched my heart. Dick Le Beau is widely considered to be one of the greatest defensive backs in the history of the Detroit Lions. After graduating from the Ohio State University, Dick entered the NFL. He was cut by the Cleveland Browns in training camp but was not a man who was easily stuck. He quickly signed with the Detroit Lions as a rookie free agent. He played 14 seasons in Detroit and was teamed with The Night Train Lane, one of the most feared defensive lines in the NFL. Johnny Unitas always had respect for him, saying, “Dick is a good corner. I am just glad the Night Train Lane is gone.”

After retiring, Dick immediately went into coaching and excelled, especially in defense. But as one player noted, “As awesome as it’ll be to see him as a coach, you really don’t want to see him in headphones on the other side of the field.” He developed the “zone blitz,” and offensive players found this game plan a nightmare to defend against. He has a fine mind for defensive strategies, quick plays and devious ways to keep his defensive linemen from having to continually cover the field. He’s an unstuck genius.

Now for the part that touched my heart. Le Beau is 80 years old, with a rugged, craggy face. And he’s still going strong. As tough as he is, he is beloved by his players, many of whom refer to him as “Coach Dad.” Each year, he is renowned for reciting A Visit from St. Nicholas (“˜Twas The Night Before Christmas) to his players. Can you see huge men (weighing in at anywhere from 180-350 pounds, whose living is dedicated to running into the opposition as hard as they can or running as fast as they can) settling in to hear such a heartwarming story? With phrases as “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” or “Merry Christmas to all, And to all a good night!:” these feelings of warmth and tenderness radiate awareness of the season to the whole team. Truly living unstuck.

What touches your heart for the season? Is there a little something special that makes the holidays complete for you? If this quality is not yet in your life, I’d suggest you develop it this year. Live unstuck. #Unstuck Living

Christmas can’t be bought from a store . . . Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more.

—How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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