Updated: Jun 7
Photo, courtesy of the Saint Louis Rams
Retired NFL Champion, Self-Taught Farmer, Philanthropist, Author, Motivational Christian Speaker
Found his ministry in farming to feed those in need
When Jason Brown played football in high school, he came home from practice too exhausted to do his homework. But he knew that schoolwork was important. His own grandfather had led the charge to desegregate schools in his community. And both parents had instilled in him the value of hard work and education. So he found a way to fit it in. He set his alarm for 3 a.m. and studied by lamplight until he got it all done.
It was Jason’s willingness to make this kind of sacrifice that helped get him to the NFL.
Even in elementary school, Jason found a way to motivate himself. He made a sandwich and cut it into four squares. After finishing his math, he would eat the first square, after finishing his English, he would eat the second square, and so on. Before he knew it, his homework was done.
When he first got to high school, he skipped lunch so he could lift weights, often missing out on time with friends. But his hard work paid off and he soon saw results on the football field.
Jason also attended church every week. When he went away to college he would discover that God could be a source of comfort and guidance to turn to when he felt overwhelmed.
Jason wasn’t always popular in school. His classmates called him “fat boy,” and other hurtful names. Their taunts stung Jason, but he did not let them define him. He was able to resist peer pressure to focus on what he knew were most important: schoolwork and football.
By the time he finished high school, Jason had become a football star. He was winning games, getting his name in the paper and earning a scholarship to the University of North Carolina. He even ended up being crowned homecoming and prom king. But he realized that while it felt good to be recognized, most people didn’t understand the kind of sacrifices that it took to get there. But he knew that those sacrifices had made all the difference.
Away at college, Jason was tempted by things that he knew could lead to trouble: drugs and alcohol and pretty girls. He felt like he was in a cartoon, with the Devil whispering in one ear, and an Angel in the other.
“Oh yeah, go ahead man, you can do it,” the Devil would say. “Don’t worry about the consequences.”
But then the Angel would say, “You already know the right answer. You need to make the right choice.”
Jason knew that the voice of the Angel was really the voice of God. He knew he had to turn to God when he felt tempted and alone. He knew that God’s message of wisdom and love would help him make good decisions.
When it came to his schoolwork and his efforts on the field, he remembered his father’s advice: work smarter, not harder. He father taught him and his brother Lunsford a lesson once when they struggled to lift some heavy landscaping equipment. He and his brother huffed and puffed, but could not make it budge. Then their father showed them how to make a simple lever with a brick and a piece of wood that did the lifting for them.
Thinking about that day with his brother is hard, because Lunsford was killed in Iraq in 2003. But this tragedy helps Jason keep things in perspective when he feels challenged by life.
Jason Brown is an Insightful Player® team member who is an exceptional role model. He invites others to tune into God’s coaching to help them make the best choices to lead a glorious life.
Instant replay of Jason’s guiding principles:
Be willing to make the sacrifices to reach your dreams. This will help you develop perseverance and build character.
Discover the best way to motivate yourself and stick to it no matter what.
Create a relationship with God to empower you and encourage you to make the right choices.
Be a leader who sets an example regardless of what others think. You will develop self-respect and earn the respect of others.
Expand your perspective and change your strategy when things don’t work out. When one door closes another door always opens.
Work smarter not harder. Let your wisdom guide you.
When you lose someone you love dearly let that inspire you to keep things in perspective. Make them proud.
Develop a strong work ethic to maximize your talents and ensure success.
The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her newly released book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. Her father is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.
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Jason Brown is a valued member of the Insightful Player® team. To be named to this team, one must be a person of integrity, such as a current or former NFL player, who shares their personal message of hope for the sole purpose of lifting the spirits of all, especially children.