As Gay Bowl IX approaches in a couple weeks, the Los Angeles Motion (the team Jim and I play on) got an inspirational visit from a guest who knows something about winning Super Bowls: former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin. The Hall of Fame wide receiver took time between his rehearsal for Dancing With The Stars (which premieres tonight) and meetings at the NFL Network to watch the team's practice and give the team advice and insight on what it takes to win in football.
He spent about 45 minutes with the team and was unabashed in his love for the football players. Despite how dirty and dusty we were, he embraced every player. He signed footballs, talked with Cowboys fans one-on-one, even called an injured team member who hadn't come to practice. He didn't have to come by, and he had to change some plans to make it happen, but he made it happen and was happy to be there.
We also asked Irvin if he could "pick the straight guys." There were two straight men at practice, and Irvin took his best guess at which two players they were. He was actually 50%, getting one right but missing on the second one.
Irvin continues to demonstrate how incredibly gay-friendly and positive athletes can be. Irvin is proud of his masculinity and his religion. In fact, in his conversation with the team this weekend he quoted the Bible. But his feelings about gays are dominated by his love of people and his believe that we shouldn't judge one another. It's a wonderful, refreshing change of pace.