The North Lamar Panther Nation got a surprise from former Dallas Cowboys player Troy Aikman, thanks to alumni Chad Bird.
“We had a horrible game against Anna on Friday, and I thought the boys needed some positive words from someone who was a great role model,” Bird said.
Aikman a former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League knows all too well the ups and downs of playing the game. The number one overall draft pick from 1989, played twelve consecutive seasons as the starting quarterback with the Cowboys, the greatest number of seasons by any Cowboy quarterback. And he took the time and his experience to send a video message to a team that needed some good All American inspiration.
Bird went on to explain that the game was not in favor for the Panthers, with the defense playing a full quarter and even accompanied with a few interceptions-the boys didn’t stand a chance.
“We’ve all seen games that are called unfairly, and this last game really could deflate these players. They went out there and played their best and were let down by calls,” he explained, “so I decided to reach out to Troy’s people, and I am glad I did.”
Aikman and Bird communicated through messages, with Bird giving praise to the athlete and person Aikman is and what a minute video can do for the team.
“I think his words of positivity are what the team needs. And it’s a message that can be transferred to all student-athletes,” he said, “it takes courage to be an athlete, and when you’re a kid taking the field you need to know that your fans are behind you. It’s all about encouragement.”
Bird said he could feel the Panther pride faded after the game, and that alone disheartened him as a long-time Panther fan and alumni. So he alone decided to take a positive approach to help the team and ensure they knew that what happened on the field doesn’t define them as athletes or a team.
“I love North Lamar; I love the Panther Nation. We are a great school with great programs, teachers, coaches, and fans; we are proud of the effort the boys put in and to get a few words of encouragement from a great athlete is what they needed after a bad loss,” Bird explained.
Aikman summed it up best by reminding the boys, “tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”