Football, fame and a household name

Published 9:44 am Monday, December 12, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Dak will be a household name, I predict, before the National Football League completes its season.

The first person to read this prediction will roll her eyes and wonder, so what? In Dawn’s world, hooks and loops and yarn are more important than any game created by brutes to amuse themselves. She does not see the point of sports. I strongly suspect she is not alone in the world. But, she knows who Dak is.

Tebow is another household name. I missed a significant factoid about him when it occurred, or I just didn’t remember hearing about it.

Tebow was known for displaying his Christianity on the playing field. He ‘celebrated’ touchdowns in the end zone by dropping to one knee to say a prayer to thank God for his success. He may not have been the first to ‘celebrate’ by giving God the credit but the act of doing so became known as a ‘Tebow’, at least for a while.

But back to the interesting factoid, Tebow wore black patches under his eyes during a game with the inscription, 3:16. He intentionally did so to reference a verse in the bible, John 3:16. Several years later in another game, I believe it was the second or third anniversary, several statistics reflected the numbers 316. He accumulated 316 passing yards in the game with an average of 31.6 yards per reception. His opponent’s team had possession of the ball 31 minutes and 6 seconds and there was one interception in the game on 3rd down and 16 yards to go.

Were these stats a mere coincidence?

I have always been highly skeptical of the notion God cares about touchdowns or football statistics.

I got to know Dak, figuratively speaking, when he was a sophomore in college. He played football for the Mississippi State Bulldogs. He was the backup quarterback when they traveled to Houston to take on Oklahoma State University at the Texans’ stadium. The Bulldogs lost, but Dak was called in when the starter got hurt. He was impressive and was soon to be the starting quarterback.

He completed his college eligibility last season. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. He was not a high draft pick, but in the preseason he got his chance when the starter got hurt.

I have been told success is where preparation meets opportunity. It appears Dak understands this proverb.

My feelings are hurt since Dak is doing so well as a Dallas Cowboy. I have never been a Cowboy fan. The timing is perfect though since my Green Bay Packers are struggling.

Dan Mullen, the current head football coach at Mississippi State, coached Tebow and Dak. He has another quarterback who may very well be better than these two. Time will tell.

As I drove down Strickland Avenue about six months ago I saw an interesting vehicle traveling before mine. As I sped up to get a closer view, I noticed the license plate read ETIII.

At first I thought this was an extra-terrestrial vehicle. Okay you can stop laughing, I am sure everyone in the area knows it was Earl Thomas III.

The reality is I only know these three young men, who have accomplished much, by reputation and what I have witnessed of their performance on a football field.

Their lives and backgrounds are diverse. Yet they are similar. Each worked hard to achieve their success. Each became a household name on a football field. Each, from what I can see, are willing to share with others. Each, for the most part, are good role models for our children. Who wouldn’t want their children to enjoy success resulting from their hard work?

That is refreshing.

(Editor’s note: Dawn Burleigh does know of Dak as she is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. She just prefers crocheting and quilting.)


Bobby Tingle is Publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at