Sunday, November 20, 2011

Donnie Green

Sent: 11/9/11
Received: 11/18/11
Time: 9 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1973 Topps, 1974 Topps, 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites
Item Received: 1973 Topps, 1974 Topps, 2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites.  All signed in black ballpoint.

I have a confession.  I can't stand it when athletes work "God" or "Jesus Christ" into their autographs.  Referencing bible verses is slightly annoying.  (Not nearly as annoying as "thanking my lord and savior Jesus Christ for letting me score that touchdown" ... as if Christ -- if he did exist -- was playing favorites.)  Seeing these inscriptions on Donnie Green's cards, though?  It doesn't bother me.  It actually makes my smile.

A few years ago there were reports that Green was homeless.  He wasn't in good shape, had fallen into drugs, and couldn't pay his mounting medical bills from the despicable excuse for an NFL pension.  Hall of Fame linemate Joe DeLamielleure made news when he set up an autograph fundraiser to benefit Green.  It was in a homeless shelter in Maryland and through the actions of his former teammates that Donnie Green found God.  Whether literal or figurative, his discovery has saved his life.

The tricky thing about religion is that it isn't all propaganda being spewed by the fearful and hateful.  In fact, I would wager that for most it really is more of a spiritual, symbolic thing.

I do not consider myself religious.  I can't say if there is a God.  He/She/It has certainly never spoken to me.  My father-in-law and mother-in-law both have advanced theology degrees, and my father-in-law is a Lutheran minister in Iowa.  He's a brilliant man and perhaps the most socialist person I know.  See?  Not so easy to wrap into a neat little package.  I can't stand far-right "Christian" psychopaths like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, yet some of my favorite music in the world is primitive southern gospel and blues.  Because whether it exists or not, it's the feeling that's important.  It's the authentic feeling that'll get you by.

So if "trusting in Jesus" is what Donnie Green needs to keep on keeping on, to get his life back on track (and it does seem to be better now than it was four or five years ago), that's fantastic.  Seriously.  It can be a cruel, cruel world, but I'm glad the right tackle of "The Electric Company" is still a part of it.

1 comment:

  1. Well said, Sir Dan! Nice reading between the lines of that signature!!!