Saturday, April 20, 2013

Winning against the odds

Canadian Football League multiple-record holder, four-time Grey Cup champion and Canadian football  Hall of Famer Mike "Pinball" Clemens brought all the energy you would expect form a guy nicknamed Pinball to inspire the crowd at the annual Saskatoon Prayer Breakfast this morning.

Growing up the what he called "every stereotype you can imagine of the projects or the 'hood," Clemons had to deal with adversity right from the start. "Adversity is guaranteed. It's how you deal with it that makes the difference," he said.

Since he was eight, Clemons was told he was too small to play football. Instead of running away from adversity, he ran toward it and embraced the gifts and talents God had given him to overcome adversity.

"They said you're not big enough. Ran to it. They said you're not smart enough. Ran to it. They said you're from the wrong neighbourhood. Ran to it."

Acknowledging the tragedies in Boston and West, Texas this past week, Clemons highlighted how everyday people, particularly police officers and fire firefighters, ran to adversity to overcome the odds and save lives.

Involving and exciting the crowd during the whole address, Clemons explained he needed to find his "suweeeeet-spoooot" to win against the odds.

"Football means a lot to me. Family more. God the most."

Clemons explained, "I came to the humble conclusion that the substance of what I did, all I did was run with a piece of leather for a few miles. And it took me 12 years to do it! If you want to know who I am, I'm the husband of Diane, my wife. I live to serve her. That's my sweet-spot. I couldn't have done any of that stuff by myself. As much as I love my wife, it is Christ in me that taught me how to love. Christ in me told me it doesn't matter how big I am. I'm just bringing all I have to the party."

By bringing all he has to the party, Clemons has learned to win against the the odds that seemed to be stacked against him. More importantly, he has learned a relationship with Jesus not only makes that possible, it makes it a fun and interesting ride.

Support the Mike Pinball Clemons Foundation (MPCF) dedicated to helping disadvantaged youth.

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