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Monday, December 27, 2004
The Minister of Defense:
Reggie White, dead at the young age of 43... I am still today having trouble comprehending them. I met Reggie White briefly twice (and then only to shake his hand), both times in association with church events in Knoxville. I will never forget seeing him preach at Southside Baptist Church. He spoke directly to the young people in the room, imploring them to trust God, and not to sell themselves out to the temptations of the world. Three of my friends from school that day went to the altar to become Christians, tears in their eyes all. This was the effect the words of Reggie White had on people, and when he spoke, you knew he meant it.
Losing a man like Reggie White is a tragedy. He leaves behind a legacy of football success in both the collegiate ranks and professionally that may never again be approached. But this is not what I will remember most. I will remember anecdotes, such as one from a friend of mine named Mike, who played football at UT. Mike said that Reggie used to come into the locker room on all fours wearing nothing but a towel, barking like a dog and howling. Reggie would be the life of the party in those days, Mike would tell me, but not in the ways that many prima donna athletes are today. I will remember seeing him in the orange and white during my childhood, and the green and gold during my adult life. But most of all, I will remember him holding aloft his Bible, coaching young people to embrace God, and trust in their Saviour. Yes... Reggie White went too soon, and even after writing this, I still can't digest it.
More stories about Reggie White:
Tom Silverstein - "He loved God, green and gold."
Alan Borsuk - "Outside quests sometimes took wrong path."
Greg Garber - "The world just lost a great football player, but I think he should be remembered for being a greater man."
UPDATE: ABC News is reporting that Reggie White probably died of sarcoidosis exacerbated by sleep apnea.
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