In 1983, as a wee kid of 12 or so, I witnessed perfection and experienced a change in myself. The local high school football team, Lutcher Bulldogs, had a new quarterback and he was black. This was unprecedented at the time. Roger Staubach, Danny White and John Elway were just some of the names that came to mind when thinking of QB's. But that changed quickly the first night I saw Terrence Jones.
Sitting in the stands to the right of the press box with all the cool kids and my jam box and a Midnight Star tape, I witnessed poetry in motion. There was definitely "No Parking" in the pocket. When the defense got too close he'd wiggle his way out and before you know it, he was 40 yards down the field. Danny White would have folded to the ground.
I could feel myself walking differently the next morning at football practice and would even throw the ball a little harder. I was swaggering like TaTa before I even knew it. I was beginning to let my imagination run like never before and maybe learning how to express myself through sport and rely on instinct. This would prove to be a life long lesson long after leaving the ball far behind.
Every Friday for 14 weeks straight, I watched #10 become more and more confident in his own direction achieving perfection in the end. After a great career at Tulane and a Heisman campaign, he played in the CFL. The NFL wasn't ready for a black quarterback in those times. In those times! It's so disappointing and I'm sure it was for Terrence too. I hope he is continuing to find his glory off of the field. Joe DiMaggio said you never know who's watching you for the first time so play your best at all times. I first learned this from watching #10 and think about him from time to time on the road. When the well worn path appears in my direction, I juke it into the unknown. Thanks Mr. Jones..."Electricity"!