A Hero and a Boy’s Game
Years ago I went to my childhood home of Cincinnati to see the first playoff game in nearly two decades. On the first play from scrimmage, our starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, went out with an ugly knee injury, and in trotted backup QB Jon Kitna. As he led the team down for a TD, I commented to my friend: “If Kitna wins this game for us, he’ll never have to buy a drink in this town again.”
Alas, it was not to be, and I still root for a team that can’t win a playoff game (Maybe this year!), but I’ve always rooted for Jon Kitna. He came from Seattle where he was displaced as the started to Cincinnati, where he warmed up a year for Palmer, and then he moved to Detroit and than Dallas. When he started a couple games, I remember thinking that a guy from a D-II school was living the dream of almost every kid in the US: starting QB for the Dallas Cowboys. Through it all, he handled life with aplomb. I remember several stories of him bringing many players in the Detroit locker room to Christ during his tenure there, a testament to the man and to what he stood for.
So I’m equally happy to see that he gets one more shot at football, as he’s been called into emergency backup duty with Tony Romo hurting. Heck, he’s such a good guy, my wife even recognizes his name. If for some reason he gets named starter, she’ll probably watch the game.
The Dallas Cowboys have called one of their former players back out of retirement and in return he is giving away his $53,000 gameday paycheck.
Jon Kitna played for the Texan team for two years starting in 2009 but retired in January of 2012.
From there he returned to his hometown of Tacoma, Washington and became a high school math teacher and the coach of the football team.
When his former teammate, quarterback Tony Romo suffered from a back injury that will leave him out of the much anticipated game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday that decides
So, yea, he probably won’t see the field, but here he is finding time to help out at a game everyone would love to play, essentially for free, but because he can.
This is a guy who will never see the Hall of Fame unless he drops by on vacation, but he’s an example of what every football player should be, and he’ll always be one of my favorite football players.