Sunday, February 17, 2008
Digital cameras are easy to operate. At least the one I use is. You just make sure the green spot on the little round thingy is on the arrow. Then you get your subject in the window and hit the button and you automatically have a sharp focused picture.
But if the little green spot is not on the arrow, the picture turns out fuzzy and unclear. That is exactly what happened last night when I took this fuzzy, unclear photo of Norman and Jane Carter as they were sitting at the head table at the induction ceremony of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame held at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta.
Although this photo is unclear there were a few things that were very clear to me last night.
Norman Carter truly deserved the honor of being chosen as a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. About a year and a half ago I wrote an article here about the amazing Taylor County Lady Vikings who won 132 straight basketball games. Later I wrote another article about Coach Carter and why he should be chosen. Later I copied another article published in the Macon Telegraph that was written by columnist Ed Grisamore that was another effort to show the world that this incredible coach and leader of people should be in the hall of fame. It has been very clear to me for a long time that it was only right that Norman Carter be honored as a member of this elite group.
It was also very clear to me last night that there is more to sports achievement than wins and losses and what happens on the field. I listened to another inductee, all pro defensive end and super bowl MVP Richard Dent, honor his dad who was sitting next to him at the head table. It was very clear that his amazing story had much more to do with overcoming obstacles to succeed in life than it did about a game.
We listened to another inductee, Ernie Harwell, who was the voice of the Detroit Tigers for 42 years, say that if you find a turtle on a fence post you should “always remember that someone put him there.” He went on to say if he was on a fence post as an inductee, he knows it was because someone put him there. He went on to give credit to “his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It was very clear that he saw his successful career in sports as a road God had put him for purposes beyond himself and beyond calling balls and strikes and providing color commentary at a baseball game.
When I heard another inductee, pro bowler Ernest Byner who retired from pro football among the top twenty all time running backs in NFL history, talk about his tenacious pursuit of his dreams as a kid, it became clear to me that his success on the football team was much more about success in life than it was running a football.
And I heard Norman Carter comment to the 1300 folks in attendance that he was a good coach but he considered himself “a much better judge of character,” and that as proud as he was of the 132 consecutive wins and seven state championships in 12 years, he was “more proud of the ladies and mothers and successful citizens his players had become.”
It was clear to me that these inductees were special people on the field but were and also continue to be special people off the field.
My wife’s basketball coach and real life hero was honored along with a very elite group of folks last night and in doing so he joined a fraternity of the best in sports the state of Georgia has to offer. It had been clear to me for a long time that he deserved the honor he received last night.
The photo I took was fuzzy. But the picture I saw last night was very clear.