Bouncing my youngest son on my knee, I try my best to express a thought ... a
feeling of pure bliss. Way back in 98', Cunningham over center, first
looking left, then sweeping his peripherals to the right. Stopping, and
then affixing his gaze upon none other than our offensive coordinator Brian
Billick. And there it is, the uncontrolled emotions of immersion into the
zone. The smile is broad, but what was laser cut deeply into my brain was
the dazzle in Randall's eyes. At that moment, two minds melded into one,
and the emotions flowed like two actors that could not contain the outburst of
There, you heard
it. A nobody taunting Cris Carter ... "Ain't you retired yet, old
man". The jawing then commenced. The result was a never ending
slogan ... "You ain't stopped us yet". How do you explain
the intense drama of these events to such a young boy, which are now etched in
time ... unless you lived them ... live.
We may never know if were true, because this utterance was only heard once, but
the lore of the tale is unmistakable. Randall McDaniel opens his school
and unleashes one of his patented lessons upon whatever man that found himself
with the unenviable task of having to stand in front of Randall at that
particular moment in time. Afterwards, Randall applies a verbal lashing of
something to this effect ... "Man, this is your job. You can't let me
show you up like that". It's not what you think. To
differentiate the thought, where we've all seen our share of put downs,
Randall's words expressed a measure of concern. Did this man, this same
man who is about to enter the hall of fame, did he have to temper his game to
play with mere mortals? What was certain, was there was no
chance that anyone could emulating his game ... Randall McDaniel was a freak of
When Randall finds himself standing on that stage, in the presence of the NFL
greats and immortals, will he once again find it within himself to clear the way
for his many deserving mates. What is unequivocal is that if he plows into
that hole with his immense heart, the rest will most certainly follow ... in
So now my son asks me, "Dad, are we going to Canton this year"?
You see, I've been there before, years ago ... but never for an induction
ceremony. I've missed them all. This year I'm committed to visiting
colleges for my son and to visit with family, so I'll have to miss once again
this year. I've always wanted to go, but it's not to be.
Will this this year be
different? The way I see it, there will be something very special about
the 2009 season ... and it will take all your courage to endure it all.
What I can tell you, is that if you do have the opportunity to attend this
event, it will be a special day and well worth your time and effort.
Hopefully, the Viking
Nation will be there to support Randall en masse.
The Viking Ghost
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2009