The event kicked off the NFF “Football Matters to Me” Campaign.
The event kicked off the NFF “Football Matters to Me” Campaign
DALLAS (Oct. 8, 2013) - Passion runs deep for football, and that emotion was on full display Thursday night at the Omni Dallas Hotel during the induction of Jerry Jones into the National Football Foundation (NFF) Leadership Hall of Fame. A star-studded crowd turned out at the event to pay tribute to Jones, the owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, who has ascended to the highest levels of success in the sports business world.
Jones spoke eloquently about the importance of protecting the game for future generations and the lessons that he learned playing for College Football Hall of Fame Coach Frank Broyles at Arkansas. Jones recounted the importance that Coach Broyles placed on persevering in the final quarter of a game - as well as in life - explaining that his coach remained a champion later in life as he took care of a wife stricken with Alzheimer’s.
“You have to understand the fourth quarter,” said Jones, recalling Coach Broyles’ perspective on tenacity. “The first quarter you’re feeling good. The second quarter, now it’s getting challenging. Third quarter, you’re tired, and you don’t look good in the mirror… this is when you come and get it. You don’t quit… He taught us right then and there about life and about the fourth quarter.”
Jones worked with the NFF to dedicate the proceeds from the event to help launch a new campaign that encourages people to tell why football matters to them. The campaign, called Football Matters to Me, kicked off at the event with the premiere of a national television commercial that features Jeff Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE and a former offensive lineman at Dartmouth College. In the commercial, Immelt, who serves on the NFF Board, touts the value football has played in his life and the role it plays in helping him run one of the world’s largest and most successful industrial conglomerates. (Click here to watch the 2:40 minute version of the video.)
“Jeff, your poignant remarks were unbelievable, ‘I am a football player,’ that gets me going,” said Jones to Immelt, who was in the audience, about the sentiments captured in the commercial. “That really gets me going because I know what a warrior you are, leading General Electric, one of the greatest entities that we have in the world, and we know that to give some thought to your background in football as to influencing you and your leadership… that does a tremendous amount for our game.”
Jones said the campaign will help convey to parents the value of football in teaching young players about life. He emphasized that parents need to know about the enormous benefits that young people gain from playing the sport, and the campaign will play a significant role in achieving that goal.
Jones becomes a charter member of the Leadership Hall of Fame, which has been launched as a new platform for recognizing the country’s most influential individuals who have ascended to the highest levels of success and exhibited the critical leadership qualities that transcend ordinary enterprises. Inductees are selected for embodying the same qualities in amateur football that define excellence in American life: hard work, discipline, determination, teamwork, integrity and the relentless pursuit to improve.
Former Arizona State linebacker Darren Woodson became an All-Pro defensive back playing for Jones on all three Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl championship teams in the 1990s. He spoke about Jones, his roots as a football player at Arkansas and his impact on the NFL during the past quarter century.
“It all started on the football field,” said Woodson. “Football was the vehicle that taught him to bring out the best in himself and those around him.”
Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News and a CBS 60 Minutes correspondent, emceed the event, peppering an all-star media panel with questions throughout the night about Jones, his background and his legacy as an NFL owner. The panel included NBC Emmy Award-winning sportscaster Al Michaels; Sports Illustrated writer and NBC Sports commentator Peter King; host of FOX NFL Sunday Curt Menefee; and radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys Brad Sham.
The group collectively described Jones as a marketing genius who helped transform the NFL and the stadium experience for fans. King recounted Jones buying the Cowboys in 1989 and his extreme optimism in the face of daunting losses in the beginning. Michaels called Jones one of the most influential figures in the NFL during the past 24 years, and Menefee described Jones as a person who always does it the right way. Sham paid tribute to Jones’ humanity and connection to the Cowboy players and his commitment to causes in the community.
NFF Chairman and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Manning (Mississippi) joined NFF Board Member and College and Pro Football Hall of Famer quarterback for Navy and the Dallas Cowboys Roger Staubach for the ring ceremony and the formal induction of Jones into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.
“Jerry you have been a leader for this sport,” said Staubach. “We’re here to thank you tonight for being a guardian for the game and protecting it for future generations.”
Other celebrities who took the stage included NFF Board Member and BP Capital Founder
T. Boone Pickens and NFF Board Member and College and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback for UCLA and the Dallas Cowboys Troy Aikman. Additional NFF Board Members in attendance included NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell, NFF Vice Chairman Murry Bowden, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and retired Boston College Athletics Director Gene DeFilippo.
The night included a red carpet reception with coverage on all the major local outlets, including a live broadcast by KTVT-TV (CBS 11 – Dallas/Ft. Worth) with sports director Babe Laufenberg on site.
Jones’ accomplishments will be enshrined in an exhibit at the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, scheduled to open its doors in late 2014. Jones, who has served on the NFF Board of Directors since 2008, joins George Pyne, the president of IMG Worldwide Sports and Entertainment, as charter inductees into the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame.
Other VIPs in attendance included:
· Ebby Halliday Acers, Ebby Halliday Realtors Founder
· Joel T. Allison, President & CEO, Baylor Health Care System
· Dr. & Mrs. Kenneth Altshuler, UT Southwestern Medical Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Stanton Sharp Distinguished Chair in Psychiatry; Philanthropist
· Barry Andrews, Andrews Distributing Chairman & CEO
· John Banner, PepsiCo Senior VP Global Strategy Planning
· Rolando Blackman, Former NBA player, Dallas Mavericks
· Tim Brown, College Football Hall of Famer, University of Notre Dame
· Dave Brown, Longhorn Network vice president, programming & acquisitions
· Chief David Brown, Dallas Chief of Police
· Jack Broyles, son of College Football Hall of Fame Coach Frank Broyles
· Ron Chapman, Legendary Dallas radio broadcaster, retired
· Dr. Sandi Chapman, Founder & Chief Director, Center for Brain Health, University of Texas at Dallas
· Brad Cheves, VP for Development and External Affairs, Southern Methodist University
· Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders
· Pete Delkus, Chief Meteorologist, WFAA-TV, Dallas
· Pete Dits, Vice President/General Manager at ESPN Radio Dallas/Fort Worth
· Frank Fletcher, Founder of Fletcher Auto Group
· Gerald T. Ford, Managing Member of Ford Financial Fund
· Randy Freer, FOX Sports Media Group Co-President and Chief Operating Officer
· Bennett Glazer, Glazer Family of Companies Chairman & CEO
· Kale Gober, Assistant Athletic Director for Development at the University of Arkansas
· John Goff, Private investor
· Ed Goren, FOX Sports Media Group Vice Chairman
· Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News sports columnist
· Bill Hancock, College Football Playoff Executive Director
· Jon Heidtke, FOX Sports Southwest Senior VP and General Manager
· David Hill, FOX Sports Chief Executive Officer
· Chuck Howley, Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl V Most Valuable Player
· Caroline Rose Hunt, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Founder and Honorary Chairman
· Larry Jones, FOX Sports Chief Operating Officer
· Bill Kellar, Nike Director of Football Sports Marketing
· Jeff Long, Athletics Director at the University of Arkansas
· Tom Long, Chief Executive Officer of MillerCoors
· Burke Magnus, ESPN Senior Vice President for College Programing
· Nancy Cain Marcus, Philanthropist
· Kit Morris, Nike Director of College Sports Marketing
· Scott Murray, Chairman and CEO of Murray Media
· Jay Novacek, College Football Hall of Famer, University of Wyoming
· Alan Peppard, Dallas Morning News columnist
· Larry Renfro, CEO of Optum
· Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director
· Sean Rochelle, Director of Development at the University of Arkansas
· Paul Rogers, Southern Methodist University Faculty Athletics Representative
· Bob Schlegel, Chairman and CEO, Pavestone Co. LP
· Carl Sewell, Sewell Automotive Companies Chairman
· Harold Simmons, Businessman and Philanthropist
· Joseph Sinacola, Mario Sinacola & Sons Excavating Assistant Treasurer
· John Stephenson, Atlanta Hall Management, Inc. President & CEO
· Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO
· Jenny Storms, PepsiCo Senior VP Global Sports Marketing
· John Tatum, Co-Founder of Genesco Sports Enterprises, Inc.
· Jean Jacques Taylor, ESPN Dallas
· Jim Turner, Principal of JLT Beverages
· Walter Umphrey, Provost Umphrey Law Firm Managing Director
· Chart Westcott, Partner and General Counsel of Commodore Partners
· Jim Wilkinson, PepsiCo Executive Vice President, Communications
(Photo: Jerry Jones holds up his NFF Leadership Hall of Fame induction ring with NFF Chairman Archie Manning on the left and his grandson Shy on the right.)
ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army Coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Award presented by Fidelity Investments, Play It Smart, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF presents the MacArthur Bowl, the William V. Campbell Trophy endowed by HealthSouth, and releases the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the BCS, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Liberty Mutual Insurance, NCAA Football, and Under Armour. For more information, please visit www.footballfoundation.org.