Want to sleep better? Serve your community

Former NFL players visit Folsom to deliver important message
By: Matt Long
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Former Oakland Raider, Heisman Trophy winner and future NFL Hall of Famer Tim Brown visited Folsom on Saturday with a message about how to get a better night’s sleep. Well, not really, but on a day when character, moral values and serving the community were hot topics at the Heisman Leadership Day at Oak Hills Church, Brown told the crowd of about 300 people that he always sleeps better when he serves the community. “Anytime I get the opportunity to reach out to kids and contact the people that are with them on a daily basis, it’s a great opportunity to impart what I’ve learned to them,” Brown said prior the event put on by Greg Roeszler, founder of the Playmakers organization. “To me it’s all about God, family and education.” Brown was the keynote speaker on the day that also featured former Dallas Cowboy tight end and current football coach at Sacramento High, Doug Cosbie and former Stanford quarterback and Founder and Executive Director of My Leadership U, Chris Berg. Mike Lamb, also a former Raider and current radio personality from KHTK 1140AM, emceed the event. Roeszler’s Playmakers organization is all about reaching out to kids in need, through football, and lending a hand to those who need help in the community. “We have three non-negotiable values at Playmakers: family, academics and community service,” Roeszler said. “We ask all of you to lead the way in being servants in your community.” While the Heisman Leadership Day was held at Oak Hills Church, the event was not about religion, yet Brown and Berg felt it important to speak from the heart. “The most important thing to me, and it is who I am, is to take a stand for God,” Brown said. “Nothing is more important to me than my relationship with God. Take a stand for your purpose in life. Take a stand for God, take a stand for education and take a stand for your community. There is no better feeling than helping someone else.” Berg told the audience of kids and adults alike to ask themselves ‘how can I serve’ and then take action on that. “My message is about the power of being a servant and having a great attitude about it,” Berg said. “It teaches tremendous values and this country needs that right now.” Cosbie, who played for legendary coach Tom Landry for 10 years and coached with another coach who knew a thing or two about football, Bill Walsh, at Stanford. The biggest thing he learned from those NFL coaching greats is that character counts. “The lessons you learn from football help to develop your character,” Cosbie said. “If you learn how to be a good teammate, you can apply that to any situation in life, how to be a good husband, how to be a good father, how to be a good whatever.” Cosbie spoke about the importance of setting goals, as well. He said to achieve those goals you need a passion, a plan and you need to be persistent. “Players like Tim Brown are great not because of their ability and skill, but because they have a passion,” Cosbie said. “They have ability and skill, but they’re great because they out-work everybody else.” Cosbie defined persistence as the measurement of your belief in yourself and referenced a quote he first heard from Walsh, “don’t be afraid to take yourself seriously as a football player.” “Don’t be afraid to take yourself seriously as a husband, or a father, or as a coach or fill in the blank,” Cosbie said. “You’ve got to believe in yourself.” The messages delivered by Brown, Berg and Cosbie, as well as Lamb and Roeszler, hit home and made their mark. “These are very influential NFL players took their time and told us the right way to live,” Playmaker Andrew Murakami, 20, said. “It has a great effect.” Jeff Badger, who coaches linebackers for the Folsom High varsity football team, enjoyed the event. “I think the biggest thing about this day is that these are examples from a high level,” Badger said of Brown, Cosbie, Berg and Lamb. “The kids hear it from their parents and coaches, but to hear it from a higher level from these guys makes in mean that much more.” Folsom’s Austin Bishop, 12, said he will take a lot away from Heisman Leadership Day. “The thing I take away from it is to try your hardest and don’t do anything illegal to win,” Bishop said. “Just try your hardest and don’t cheat yourself.” Dano Graves, a sophomore football player from Folsom High, focused on Brown’s words the most. “There was a lot of good stuff said today,” Graves said. “I think the most important thing is always stay with the Lord.”