Thursday, October 20, 2016

Advice from a Champion

Eddie DeBartolo introduced Charles Haley at his 2015 HOF induction
Local sports talk radio station KNBR interviewed Hall-of-Fame linebacker and five-time Super Bowl champion (three with the Cowboys, two with the 49ers) Charles Haley about his new book Fear No Evil. Not one for fancy erudition, Mr. Haley gets his point across.
Q: You must be dismayed at what you're seeing on the field. Why aren't they [the 49ers] winning, Charles?

A: Winning is a tradition. Winning is an attitude. I tell the guys, I know the secret to winning. Do you know the secret to winning? (pause)
Do your effin' job and win!
(Yes, he had the presence of mind to say "effin'" on AM radio.)

Charles Haley was known both for his tremendous talent and wild bouts of behavior (one of the most highly publicized--and tamer--episodes was urinating on a teammate's car). After football he was diagnosed with and received treatment for bipolar disorder. He now coaches, teaches, and engages in charity work.

From his Hall of Fame induction speech:
My life spiraled out of control for years, for years, but today, guys, I am getting back into the locker room, to my teammates, and tell them guys the mistakes that I've made, and that the only way that you can grow is that you've got to ask for help.

I walked into the league a 22 year old man with a 16 year old inside of me screaming for help, and I would not ask for it. I would not ask for that help. But today, guys, I take my medicine every day, and I try to inspire others to do the same, and that's because I finally listened and thank you.
What Charles Haley did during his playing days was impressive, what he did after is inspirational.

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