As I began this totally committed, insightful and reflective journey on May 6th of 2009 to rediscover those many benchmarks within my life’s travels, there were some very special people who’d made an indelible impression on me as an athlete, student and curious observer of the human element—that which is devoutly essential to continue to grow as one of God’s divine creations. Those mentioned below are an endearing group of human beings who have shown me their friendship, wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment, even as an “unsuspecting” stranger; but most of all—a genuine love for another fellow human. Thank you all for the grand contributions you’ve made to me in mind, body, soul, health, spiritual richness and the prosperity I’ve gleaned from these grand relationships that we have shared. God Bless each and every one of you—as you have me.
Elizabeth – For your infinite energy and light; as a messenger bringing the light of creativity, which only is realized when “love” speaks with my heart. You are a “Godsend.”
Suz – My wife, my partner, my lover and most of all my soul mate; it’s with your immeasurably, unrelenting dedication and commitment to us, with the love you so willingly and freely give with your spiritual support, each and every day; which continues to feed my spirit that nurtures my soul as it inspires my mind to “Commit-To-Believe” to the precious gift of love that I see in you every second, of every minute, of every day. I am truly blessed to share my life with you. I love you and I see you.
Oli – My devoted sounding board and youngest “kid”. Oli, you always put a smile on my heart every time we talk. Your – shoot from the hip – honesty concerning my labor of love; even though I’m just dad, when it fits; exemplifies everything that I am enlightened and inspired to write about. Thanks Shorty!! Ian and Drakie will always be very proud of their mom—me too!
Sgt. Pain – John, even though you’re not close by geographically, I feel the love you have for me from a son to a father, but most of all as a “friend”. It just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for how you’ve always believed in me to see who I am. I love you and wish we could be closer to share more special times. We’ll just have to work on that won’t we? I love you son.
Angie – What a truly wonderful experience it has been to have Brookie and you become a part of this adventure. Thank you, sweet girl, for allowing me to be a source of encouragement, inspiration and hope in your life as you are in mine. It’s because of you that I now know that my new path in life is real. You’ve enriched my soul in more ways than I could have ever imagined… I love you.
Neil Anderson – Coach, thank you for the caring early tutelage that you so willingly and freely gave to pave my way to realize my childhood dream. Your words of encouragement; the “can do” positive example as we ran the river on those hot summer evenings, threw passes in the park and raced each other doing wind sprints as you unselfishly prepared me for my next “big” step, became early on, some of the greatest motivation in my life. And it’s all because you came straight – from the heart. Thank you for caring enough to give so much. God Bless you Neil.
Mark Zoradi – Mark, we grew up as kids, and played together at recess, as adolescent captains, choosing up sides for kickball. Neither of us then, had any idea of what our futures would bring. We chased and shared high school football dreams on the many grass covered, pigskin strewn fields of our youth; but you discovered and embraced your enlightened path so early on in life from those many shared and formative lessons. Without realizing or knowing it, you’ve inspired me to strive to do very great things in mine. It’s because of your deliberate and dedicated walk of deeply committed, personal faith. I didn’t know. Your passion for making the right difference to those around you, motivated me to take a step into my life’s enchanting mirror, and as a result, I have discovered what lives and breathes there. WOW! It takes my breath away!! Always and only the very best to you my dear old Rio Raider teammate. Thanks for the question asked. God Bless you Brother…
Mike “Bug Un” Taylor – You’re continual support, compassion, care and feedback as a “true” Brother enriches my life every single day. Thanks “Big-Un” for always showing up for me as you do. I don’t know how I’d have done this without your endearing friendship, support and “Commit-To-Believe” attitude supporting mine. Blessings to you my dear friend and May God Always Bless you Mike!
Kim “Kimmer” Fedore – As I began this journey to “give back”; you were the first to encourage me from the friendship we had forged so many years ago when our individual dreams fired our passion with enthusiasm and desire. This is “BIG FUN”! Thanks for being there for me as a spiritual guidepost of faith, hope and belief. Your encouragement and true kindness as an enduring and endearing friend will always be remembered in my heart. God Bless you Kim.
Jim “J.O” Owens – It is with deep sadness and sorrow that I have to write my words for you Coach, since you will never have the chance to read these emotionally driven, thankful words to you. You led with your “heart” Coach – so your mind would know what to do. Along with your “hands-on” coaching; with those many slaps on the back and kind words of encouragement you made the right difference in us all. Your genuine human spirit of servitude to your players and ownership of your soul; will forever be the hallmark of your genuine, enduring legacy to those players that had the honor of wearing the Husky, Purple and Gold under your revered tutelage. God speed Coach – and I will see you again.
Mike “Rohr” Rohrbach – My old friend and teammate. You have the “Lion’s Rohr” of enthusiasm, as being the divinely inspired and forging creative founder of “Run to Win Outreach”. You’ll forever be a part of “My Band of Brothers” Rohr, because you give all you can give, so selflessly. Always Blessings to you my friend!
Mike “Baldy” Baldassin – “An Eagle Soars”; thanks Dawg Brother, for your everlasting inspiration and genuine love that has been formed from our enduring legacy of friendship. We truly know what it means, don’t we?
Mike Kirkland — A big brother to me — but just one; of “The Brothers Four”. In my darkness of uncertainty, you were that one ray of hope which cast a brotherly voice of compassion, encouragment and reassurance to my starstruck, impressionable young mind. We met for a reason then and now we’ve reconnected again for the same reason. Blessings to you my old Fiji Brother – for owning a champion’s heart that “never gives up and never gives in.” Yes, it is – a good ride!
Gertrude “Moms” Peoples – To my sweet ebony lady. You took us all under your wing and you always saw in me things I never did or could imagine. Your kind, reassuring words that everything would work out fine have always come back to me during this very intimate, reflective crossing. You touched my heart from those many special times we shared. God Bless…
Gary D’Angelo – As my professor, you became my friend and gave me a place to “hang my hat” in my time of discovery and need. You taught me the value of accurate and authentic relationships and how “true”, genuine communication facilitates our growth. Thanks for giving your best and “believing” to see in me something worth pursuing.
Fred Luke – For giving “The Boys” a nurturing place to call home and the reinforcing environment to chase our dreams with your spiritually charged acts of kindness, positive mental attitude, servitude and divine guidance. Your steadfast and enduring example of loving support helped me weather the darkest of times. Thanks, Freddie….
Borys “Bo” Chambul – My very dear old friend, housemate, big brother, weight room compadre and chiropractor extraordinaire. Thanks for being there then for me then, and again now as a true friend and Brother, Bo. You’ve been there all along and helped to make the “right” difference in my life when I needed it the most.
Mark “Ko” Scott – Without you brother, my special memories to battle “the shadows of darkness” would have been much more difficult to chase away without your true, unwavering friendship and love that comes from believing as you do… Thanks Marko!
Ken Shannon – You took me in as one of your own and taught me how to train my mind and body to reach my goals, allowing me to chase my dream. Your words of wisdom fell on very receptive ears. Thanks for being a “friend” first, coach.
Warren Moon —To my old Dawg Brother, who became #1 in the eyes of the National Football League’s Hall of Fame. For your perseverance and unwavering dedication to chase your passionate dream, you crossed the line as victor — #1. Those glorious times we all spent sharing my DAWG DAZE, will forever hold the fondest of memories for me. Such great lessons in life we learned as teammates. Thanks for being such an amazing part of my life Warren. God Bless you Harold… Always remember… Love Conquers All!
Tom Flick – Tommy, you might have been that “skinny” little quarterback from Bellevue, so long ago, but you’ve become a “true” giant in “heart” as what matters most! You’re a bright and shining light of inspiration, hope and motivation on your divinely chosen new gridiron in life. Keep making the “right” difference my old Dawg Brother. Because of you Tom, I can feel it once again! God Bless my friend…
Jeff “Lee” Leeland – Lee, you endured your family’s nightmare of anguish, heartache and the darkest abyss of a father’s painful anxiety in coping with your child’s horrendous medical crisis. Through it all, you gave us “hope” as your One Small Sparrow became an inspiration of love for us all. Thank you for allowing us to see that, truly, “love conquers all”. I love you Dawg Brother.
Dan “Danny Boy” Lloyd – We called you “Champ”. A champ you truly are with a warrior’s unrelenting heart to drive your passionate cause. You beat your own “shadows” my Dawg Brother and came back!! You’re my inspirational hero!! Always, always remember how strong the power of “love” is in our lives. Keep believin’!! I think you always did, but I know that you “feel” it now. Love ya brother. As you said to me, you too are: “Naturally the best”.
Dave “Peach” Pear – Here’s to you, my old training partner and dear old friend from our “Dawg Daze”. David, you shared in my dream as we “gave it our all” with our intense desire, dedication, determination and persistent perseverance – with blood, sweat and tears to pay the price to realize our dreams. Because of you, I will “always believe” in my dream! Keep “fightin’ the good fight”, my friend. You’ll forever be an inspiration for me to “NEVER” give up and never give in!!
Mike “Stretch” Nykreim – The “tallest” football player I ever knew and my dear old friend from my “Dawg Daze” inner circle. You always saw in me something I didn’t; until one day, there “it” was; and there “you” were too. Thanks my Dawg Brother. Your honesty, encouragement, support, but most of all, your unyielding friendship is the smile that I feel on my heart every day. God Bless you Mike you’re the best!!
Bruce “Jarvie” Jarvis – Jarvie, thank you for your ever watchful, caring eye, when I was just a young, Husky pup. Your compassion for me as a friend and a coach, when I was in a physically vulnerable condition, allowed me to continue to chase my childhood dream. You’re still the same insightful, caring friend who knows how to rise above it all. Thanks for soaring with the eagles my friend!
Bob “Bobby” Martin – What we once shared as teammates and housemates left a defined benchmark of special times which we’ve both been enriched by. Water skiing on the lake, gave us both a chance to pause to confirm and affirm what truly matters most in this world. Thank you my dear old friend. We now have a new future together because we both invested very early on in a genuine love for another. Dawg Brothers to the core.
Al “Big Al” Burleson – Your “heart” of a dedicated, driven “believer” of your own dream inspired me as you led by your own example on and off the turf of Husky Stadium. You saw and felt in me a kindred spirit, for which I am truly thankful and feel to this very day. Thank you my friend for seeing “that” in me too. I’m looking forward to many more special times with one of my true friends and Dawg Brothers.
Robin “Bam-Bam” Earl – As the long years have spun by in a rush of time, somehow we found life’s circle on a reconnecting plane. You lifted me up and allowed me to share my story about what matters most. The memories we’ve shared through the many phone calls and emails have enriched my life in ways that are priceless in value. Rekindling our friendship has put another smile on my heart. Thanks my dear old friend. Many rich blessings to you my Dawg Brother!
Doug Martin – Dougy, thank you for being my friend “first” and teammate second; even as adversity attempted to tear that apart. Your honesty, friendship and encouragement will forever hold a special place in my heart. Your admiration for my dedication and compassion in forging on and in dealing with my adversities is your defined legacy for me.
Randy Cross – My legacy friend – from the days of our college rivalry; into the locker room and on the turf of Candlestick Park, from so very long ago. It’s those special bonds of camaraderie and very special memories that mark our legacy friendship. Thanks for your willingness to COMMIT-TO-BELIEVE in What Matters Most! by lending your wonderful support for my labor of love to tell my story. God Bless you my friend for believing in my dream— you’ve truly touched my heart!
Eric Johnson – Brother, you help to make me feel ALIVE. It’s simply because you “Commit-To-Believe” in What Matters Most! Your friendship is a gift for which I am so very grateful. Thanks for all you do as you continue to reach out to make the “right” difference in our lives. Many, many Blessings to you my friend and always strive to Keep the Dream Alive.
Daniel G. Amen, MD – Daniel, you availed yourself to me, while you shed very valuable light concerning my trials, tribulations and adversities of my past. With your actions, you have positively enabled my creativity as it has become a catalyst to spur me toward my future. Amen brother, amen.
Janet M. Bailey – One of those “unsuspecting strangers” living in this human element of ours which would pass my way as I travel along this sojourn of my life. God Bless you for your spirit which fed mine to awaken my lost soul and for teaching us all to become – brave and fearless.
Larry Wilson, MD – Larry, your empathetic and compassionate concern which you selflessly bring to all you serve will be your wonderful legacy of genuine love and care. You showed it to me and it’s helped me to heal because it’s how we love that matters most. You really “get it” don’t you? Your passion is felt by those you serve. Thanks for that! Paybacks are GREAT!!
Robert R. Leichtman, MD – Robert, you gave me hope, as you committed in your true belief to answer to your Deist calling in your walk of life. Without you, I would have never really known the answers that I was searching for. Because you “believe”, I was able to “see”. Always; infinite Blessings to you for the vision you feel in your heart. Spiritual wings are grand to feel and know.
Jim “Lambo” Lambright – Coach, you saw something “special’ in me and made me part of something “very special” in my life. Your kindness and willingness to give your all for me, even at times when it seemed that I’d failed your faith in my God-given talents, you continued to patiently stand beside me and watch me grow into the player that I became. Thanks, coach.
Jim “Kristy” Kristof — You played with such a passionate heart and way too many years seem to pass us by as we pursue our life’s indelible path. You too, without truly knowing it, have placed yet another warm and friendly smile on my heart on this reconnecting plain. Here’s to many more happy homecoming reunions my Dawg Brother! God Bless you Jim… “Guns”
Ray “RJ” Jackson – Coach, along with “Lambo” you envisioned my potential. Your warm, compassionate and friendly nature which was always evident by your smile when we’d see one another, gave me a sense of “well being” about chasing my dream in Husky Stadium. I will always remember our talks and having “chili and cornbread” with my folks. Those will forever be very endearing and special memories; your great legacy of friendship to me. Thanks, “R.J”.
Skip “Skipper” Hall – With the infectious smile that I saw everyday on your face – at every practice – you became a “mainstay” in my belief of how important life can be when you “coach ‘em up, not down”. Thanks for always “showing up” for us as you lead with your heart so your mind would follow. You always believed in making the “right” difference. What a Stallion you are Skipper! God Bless you my dear friend.
Jim Mora, Sr. – Coach “Mo”, you were the best technical and knowledgeable position coach I ever had! Thank you for your fire, passion, intelligence, persistence and unwavering desire, dedication and determination to your craft. Your coaching truly enhanced my God given talents to get better every single day. Thanks for the great lessons of life that you so willingly and admirably conveyed.
Don “DJ” James – The Dawgfather – Coach, you taught me the value of “do it now, do it right and pay attention to detail”. Those highly visible and tangible – grounded – ideologies have always and will continue to serve me well. I have no idea how I can ever thank you for all that you taught me or how much more I could have truly learned had I been a “committed – true believer” to your precisely scripted protocol so very long ago. The tough times and the “pain of effort” that I felt and endured during that time has helped spawn the transformation of commitment that I now feel in my life. Maybe that’s what you meant when you told me about your past that day, as we sat in your office in October of 1979. Thanks so much Coach for your explicit examples that have helped to shape my character. Because of you and all you’ve done, I saved the best for last. As I once wrote these words to you so very long ago:
Always remember Coach: “The key to a person is their heart. If you can show a person the key to their heart; you will unlock their individual—personal success. That key…. is “love.”