NFL legend, Joe Theismann, was the guest speaker at the Jackson County Community Foundation dinner on Thursday evening, Oct. 17. The former professional gridiron football player, sports commentator, corporate speaker, and restauranteur, shared his story with those in attendance.
Theismann was the quarterback for the Washington Red Skins when a career ending injury on Nov. 18, 1985 changed his world forever. During a televised Monday Night Football game he was sacked by New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson. The hit left Theismann with a compound fracture to his leg making it the last game he ever played as a professional football star.
During his presentation, Theismann said the injury was life-alternating, it made him realize that he was not indestructible as once thought and he knew he had to make big changes in his life.
Theismann said two of his favorite words in life are opportunity and attitude. It is with a positive attitude that he was able to go on and realize other opportunities that would become available to him, such as the opportunity he was given to become a sports commentator for ESPN.
With a positive attitude and opportunities he was provided, Theismann made the changes necessary to continue being successful in life. He continues to take opportunities to speak at community events and share his inspirational story with others.
Being from a small community himself, Theismann said he loves to speak at community events because it gives him a chance to show people who he really is.
“People have this perception of celebrities or people they see on TV as being untouchable,” Theismann said. “I want to let people know that I am just a regular guy who seized opportunities in life and with a positive attitude, I have taken a bad situation and turned it around to make me who I am today.”