Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tim Dwight-More Than A Football Hero

For me, memories of Tim Dwight start long before Super Bowl touchdowns, Iowa Hawkeye Football in Kinnick Stadium, or the red and white of Iowa City High. They go back to a playground at Mark Twain Elementary school and a bunch of kids playing kickball. There was a fence out past the swings, and the really good kickballplayers could kick it out by them swings, a home run for sure, but no one ever kicked it OVER the fence. Well, no one until Tim Dwight.

Growing up, Tim Dwight was a year ahead of me in school, and was always the ultimate "cool guy". He was the fastest, the strongest, and best at every sport. He was our star player on our football team and led us to a state football championship his senior year. He went on to play as an Iowa Hawkeye as one of the most popular ever "Homegrown Hawks". He put up blazing kick return touchdowns and caught for more yards than any Hawkeye ever had. When college was done, he went on to have a great decade-long pro-career, the bulk of it with the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers.

Now, for a normal guy in Iowa City that is a lot of good reasons to have Tim Dwight as a football hero. However, the reason he's one of my heroes is because of something a little more. It's not because he's a big star, a big football hero, it's because of the way he treats other people, especially children and children with disabilities. In fact, he holds an annual football camp to help fund his Tim Dwight Foundation Scholarship. Even a cursory search for images of Tim Dwight turns up many pictures of him interacting with children, and most of all BEING POSITIVE about it.

Even on a personal note for myself, Tim is just a nice guy. I used to be too shy to approach him in high school (I wasn't one of the "cool guys"), but once I finally talked to him, I found out he wasn't a "cool guy", he was just a guy like me or someone else. Polite, courteous, positive, well-spoken, enthusiastic, intelligent, giving...the kind of virtues you are glad are exemplified in a young man in a prominent role that comes from a small city in Iowa. Thank you for representing us so well, Touchdown Timmy!

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