Character Matters

Without a doubt Hershel Walker is the greatest college player of all time.  You only had to be in Athens during his years on the team to realize you were watching someone truly gifted and unique.  Since then, my admiration for Hershel has only grown as I have seen him carry himself from one challenge to another maintaining a composure and focus that is rare today.  But my true admiration for Hershel comes from a chance encounter that he would not remember but left a lasting impression on me.

Many years ago, my parents were invited to attend the Peach Bowl in Atlanta by Vince Dooley, and for some reason decided to take me along for the ride.  As I remember UGA won, but I could not tell you who they played or the score.  For me, the highlight of the evening was that Hershel was in the box with us and I had an opportunity to meet and watch him firsthand.  The first thing that I noticed is that he was not overly taken with his celebrity and spent time with anyone who wanted to talk.  Some wanted to talk football, but most wanted their children to shake hands with him and meet the legend they watched in their youth.  For hours Hershel talked to, listened to, shook hands with, and signed footballs or programs for every child who approached him.  He was never distracted by what was going on around him or the game.  Every child got his undivided attention for the time they talked.

When the game was over and everyone began to file out for their cars, Hershel stood by the door and thanked everyone for coming and for supporting the University of Georgia.  He shook hands with everyone, looked them in the eye, and with sincerity said something to the effect of “We want to thank you for coming and for what your support means to UGA.”

By this time Hershel was a wealthy, retired college and pro player and for sure there was no one in the room who could have bolstered his career.  There was no political career on the horizon.  Hershel was just being Hershel, and that was and is a lot.  In the words of von Goethe “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

I will be voting for Hershel Walker this year in his Senate bid, not because he was the greatest college football player of all time, but because I have seen him in everyday life, and he is who we need in Washington.  Hershel is a winner in everything he does, and we desperately need winners in Washington!