You might call it a bucket-list item.
I recently attended a Hollywood premiere for When the Game Stands Tall, complete with celebrity appearances, entertainment reporters and a red-carpet entrance (well, green AstroTurf, to be precise).
The film, in theaters Aug. 22, is about legendary high school football coach Bob Ladouceur and the De La Salle Spartans from Concord, Calif. Maybe you’ve heard of the team’s amazing 151-game winning streak?
As someone who has lived and breathed sports my whole life, the glamour and glitz of the premiere was overshadowed by a more meaningful moment late in the evening, after the film credits had rolled, and the camera crews and paparazzi had vanished into the California night.
I got to meet Coach Lad, shake his hand and hear his story.
It was a bit surreal talking to the guy who was just featured in the film I came 1,700 miles to see. A film I’ve come to know through my work (at American Family Insurance, which is featured in the film*). But Coach Lad was just an ordinary guy to talk to – with an extra-ordinary outlook on life. [Just wish I’d snapped a photo of the two of us!]
When the Game Stands Tall chronicles Coach Lad’s life and his team’s quest to return to greatness on the football field. The film is, in my opinion, an instant sports movie classic, underscoring the power of teamwork, passion, community, pride. It’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive role models.
It reminded me of all the hard-working folks I’ve tried to surround myself with in social media — those passionate about the intersection of sports and social media. Theirs is a labor of love – it has to be given the insane hours, time away from family and hectic pace.
I’m thrilled to live vicariously through their experiences, share some of my perspective here, and join a larger community that’s pretty amazing.
This whole experience made me appreciate people like Coach Lad, who’s living proof that hard work, dedication and a commitment to giving “a perfect effort” will take you places you never imagined … like a Hollywood movie premiere, or a handshake and an inspirational moment with a legendary coach.
Thanks for being a fan.
*Full disclosure: By day, I’m a social media administrator for American Family Insurance, which is featured in When the Game Stands Tall. I don’t usually bring my day job into Fourth and 140, but this was an exception I felt was worth making.