As a life long
Dallas Cowboys fan, I can't begin to count the number of times I've
cursed the very name of Washington Redskins legendary quarterback Joe
Theisman. I can remember throwing shoes, pillows, balls, anything
within reach at the television when Theisman would throw a touchdown
against the Boys.
I was 11 when Theisman led the Skins past the Cowboys in the '82 NFC
Championship game. That game marked a decade demise of America's team
while the Redskins went on to Super Bowl glory. Yep, like all Cowboys
fans I hated ole Number 7 with a passion....until last week. I met and
interviewed Theisman at the 3rd Annual Marine Corps Invitational at
Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville.
The week long tournament and festivities benefit several charities to
help Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines who have returned from Afghanistan
and Iraq with injuries. He took the place over. Theisman made sure he
met most if not all of the veterans. He was without a doubt the best
interview I've had in more than 10 years in the business. But that's
not why I praise him here.
Theisman was paired up with Sgt. Joseph Bozik in Thursday's Pro-Am
tournament. Bozik lost BOTH his legs and his right arm when the Humvee
he was driving rolled over a mine in Iraq a year and a half ago. With
the help of prosthetic legs and arm, a special golf cart, and a lot of
courage, Bozik, an avid golfer before the accident is now golfing
again. Theisman didn't treat Bozik as some kind of charity case he
needed to glad-hand in front of the cameras. He treated Bozik like any
other golfer. Theisman joked Bozik when he shanked one, high-fived him
when he hit it straight, and chatted with him about everything under
the sun. Everything except his limbs. It's hard to imagine Bozik has
had a conversation with anybody in the last year that didn't involve
his lost limbs.
Theisman would later say meeting Bozik "has changed my life forever".
He also said guys like Bozik were the real heros of the tournament not
the atheletes. Near the end of the round I overheard Theisman giving
Bozik's wife Jayme his personal cell phone number telling her to call
him if Bozik ever needed anything. Most celebrities show up to these
events and that's enough for them. It's not enough for Joe Theisman. He
showed me his true colors at that golf tournament. Colors that go far
beyond the burgundy and gold he wore with the Skins. I'm a Cowboys fan
who is proud to say he's a big fan of Joe Theisman.