Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dabo Swinney is Just Too Cool AND Generous!

I know, I know, any Carolina fans are already rolling their eyes, but I can't help it. I've been wanting to share this story, but couldn't until after the retirement reception for Rev. Billy Mew, our local Baptist Association Director who just retired. It was supposed to be a surprise, and he acted like it was. I made sure, however, that he would be surprised when my turn came to "honor" him. I was in charge of the slide show. Here I am presenting him with a couple of gifts I had gotten him.

My main gift, however, was a video I made. First, some background...

Billy is a huge Clemson fan, and his reputation is that he won't do funerals or weddings on Saturdays of Clemson home football games. On a whim, I came up with the idea of filming a short video tribute by new Clemson head football coach, Dabo Swinney. I was on the Clemson website and thought, "Hey, what's the worst he can do...ignore me, or say no."

I emailed him, and said that if he was too busy, could he write a note of congratulations. He emailed back and said he'd be glad to meet with me. I went up on a Monday and spent about 20 minutes with him. Later I found out it was a very busy week for him, and just two days before "signing" day which is a big deal as new recruits officially sign on to play with the team.

He was gracious, warm, and had a great countenance. We talked a little, filmed the clip, and then I asked him if I could pray for him. He seemed glad that I offered. I told him I wanted Clemson to win if for no other reason to keep him in that position of influence. He is obviously a man of faith, and has said so. His history of helping others undergirds his testimony. Though he is passionate about football and coaching, you can tell that these are not his only passions, and for that I'm thankful. He also signed a football and photo for Billy.

As far as how Billy received it, he told me at first he thought I had gotten a video clip off the internet and then "doctored" it with my own words, but as the clip continued, he thought, "This might be real." He loved it as expected, and I really, really enjoyed the process of getting it in the first place, and am thankful I got to meet Dabo.
I didn't post the video clip because I told Dabo I wouldn't (not that he asked me to). I will, however, post a video I also played the night of the retirement reception. It brought the house down. Here's the Reverend Billy Mew and his wonderfully sweet wife, Mary Olive, doing the swing!...
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