Walt Coleman addressed the 73rd annual Booneville Development Corporation/South Logan County Chamber of Commerce banquet crowd Saturday night.
In his talk Coleman urged attendees to accept and defect negativity and to remember everyone is important if a team, in this case a community, is to survive and advance.
As an NFL referee Coleman knows well about the negativity. In fact he read some emails he has received from disgruntled fans after various games in his career, editing some for language given the company and the First Baptist Church Family Life Center setting.
“I was talking to your mayor. I said you’re just like me, everybody knows how to do your job better than you do,” Coleman said. “There’s always somebody out there who wants to give you a hard time. There’s always somebody out there who will question your motives.
“You have to continue to remember you’re important and that you can make a difference.”
To further that point Coleman compared football to other sports and highlighted its major difference in that not everybody on a football team is gets to play with the ball, unlike teams sports baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey, but that doesn’t mean everyone is not important.
Even further, Coleman used a long list of successful quarterbacks to make his point about everyone having a job, even an often thankless one as an offensive lineman, usually noticed only when a penalty flag is thrown for holding.
“They make a mistake and somebody like me throws a penalty flag,” said Coleman. “I say holding number 62 and number 62 gets recognized. Don’t you know he’s excited? “But who successful is any football team going to be if number 62 is not going to be dedicated to be the best offensive lineman he can be.
“It takes everybody working together to be successful. Team is together everybody achieves more. It’s no different for a Chamber of Commerce. When you get people working together you’ve got a pretty bright future.”