Many sports fans understand the meaning of this and live by these words. The Simon Family out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi exemplify this lifestyle in sports. When I first interacted with Running Backs Coach John Simon, Jr. via twitter it was right after he joined the University of Southern Mississippi’s coaching staff . I questioned the state of Southern Miss’s football team and quite frankly I was upset at some changes being made. He responded to my tweet with passion about his job and about the direction that Southern Miss was heading under Head Coach Todd Monken. For once someone made me rethink my choice of words and just be patient with the team.
I was honored to meet his wife Cecelia while following him via social media. I understand how in this industry it is important to know the women who are behind the men in sports or vice versa. I was interested in her book The One Day Hope and bought copies to give away at Kuntry Kidz, Inc Nonprofit Cocktails for A Cause event. I gifted myself a copy of this book and I was blessed by her testimony. This book not only changed my outlook on life, but it gave me a better understanding about the Simon Family’s story. Professional athletes and sports media will glamorize the sports lifestyle, but there are many untold stories of loss that fans need to be aware of.
This past Saturday the Simon Family came full circle in their sports journey. Coach Simon is a former Running Back that attended Louisiana Tech and played professional football with the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Redskins. Cecelia & John met at Louisiana Tech and that’s how their story began.
I saw Cecelia post an image of them while at LA Tech back when they were students and I thought, “WOW! This is an amazing sports moment & I have to share it with the FFF audience”. Fans, many times we do not know what our student-athletes go through in life to get a scholarship to play football and then earn a chance to be drafted into the NFL. Many times we do not know what happens to our favorite college football players who aren’t able to play more than five years in the league. The Simon’s story is shared in Cecelia’s book The One Day Hope and I encourage you to buy a copy for a sports fan you know. You get an understanding of how faith kept them together, focused on each other’s goals in life and how God has walked with them along the way. John was able to create a life outside of playing football and Cecelia stood by him. In a world where people have a false sense of #RelationshipGoals this one is true.
This past Saturday University of Southern Mississippi beat the Simon’s alma mater Louisiana Tech to clinch the Conference USA West Division title. Southern Miss will play Western Kentucky for the Conference USA championship tomorrow. Good luck to my hometown team Southern Miss and thank you to the Simon’s for being transparent in your journey of life together #SouthernMissToTheTOP