Last week sunday I was woke up to a text message on my cell phone from my friend Lorenzo. "Dude Reggie White died." I couldn't believe it. For those who don't know, Reggie White is, in the opinion of many, the greatest defensive lineman ever to play the game of football. He set the career sack record (later broken by Bruce Smith who stayed in the league for two or three years, playing part time, just to break the record) and caused many offense tackles to lose sleep on saturday nights. He took over games and made the job for the other 10 guys on defense easier in one way or another--hard to believe a man so strong could die from sleep apnea at age 43.
He was a great football player, but that was not what made his early death so tragic. Reggie was a great person. "Minister of Defense" was his nickname because he was an ordained preacher and never hesitated to use his football fame to talk about his faith. Team Bible studies and leading post-game prayers only scratched the surface of the impact Reggie had in bringing God into football. He left the Philadelphia Eagles for the Green Bay Packers in free agency because he felt that is where God wanted him to be. He made several community service commitments to the cities of Green Bay and Charlotte (his home town). His heartbeat was urban inter-city projects which is an area unfortunately ignored by too many Christians. He was a great father and husband.
Though under fire for comments against homosexuality, the vast majority of football fans respect Reggie White as a player, but more importantly respect him as a person and his faith. He brought God to the minds of possibly millions of people. Reggie was a great example of a great person. He will be greatly missed.
Thanks for the great football memories Reggie, but more importantly thanks for being an example of a Godly man for all to see.