The Real Definition of Rich
Society has its own definition of rich. The visual images include big homes, foreign cars, swimming pools and vacation cottages. Last week, Phillip Lutzenkirchen gave us the real image of rich. Looking at those pictures of a full high school football stadium in Atlanta during his memorial service, you realized this young man was among the richest of all.
Thousands don’t show up for a service because a guy was a great football player. He was so much more. There are few who go through life never making an enemy. There are fewer who touch so many lives in such a short period of time. Phillip did all those things in 23 short years.
I’ll always have those memories of him on the football field, but the lasting one for me was a football stadium full of people gathered to pay their final respects. That’s what you call rich. Even in death, Phillip Lutzenkirchen continues to teach us all. We’ve been blessed to share in his life…
With the attention on football, new Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl continues to quietly put his program back on solid footing. A big piece of that is getting buy-in from past players and coaches.
Recently, Pearl was able to put together a reunion on campus of the old guard, including Charles Barkley, Sonny Smith, Cliff Ellis, Chuck Person and Chris Porter. It was a collection of greats that couldn’t be imagined a year ago.
Pearl says he can’t succeed without them and that includes former coach and current Coastal Carolina head man Cliff Ellis.
“When Bruce called me, I said, ‘Bruce, I’m not ready,'” Ellis told Charles Goldberg. “He said, ‘Your players think you’re ready, and it’s time for you to come back. Cliff, your group is making a statement for the things I’ve tried to do. I need you to help me to get this thing going.”
It was his first visit back to campus since being released more than 10 years ago. Getting Ellis back to campus is a statement itself on the determination of Pearl to build Auburn into a contender.
While Auburn basketball has had few sustained highlights, those in the room that evening show us that the program can win at a high level. Having Barkley and Person active in the program should make everyone feel better about the winter months.
Now back to football.