September 16, 2011………..a day that will live in infamy! (or at least a day that I will remember for the rest of my life.)
That was the day that I, Keith Kennedy, Old Guy, Swimmer, was inducted into the USM Sports Hall of Fame.
It was quite a surreal moment for me.
Yes, I was a great swimmer………but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away!!
And honestly, I used to “define” myself by my swimming………that’s what I was – A SWIMMER – and that is what I thought of myself as. But it’s been 10 years since I was in the water and competed. So those type thoughts are no longer part of my lexicon.
My induction class was quite illustrious:
Myself – Swimming 1980 - 1984
Angela Atterberry (Jackson) – Basketball 1997-2000
Darrin Chancellor – Basketball – 1987-1991
Joe Dawson – Basketball – 1978-1982
Chris Logan – Baseball – 1990-1994
Todd Pinkston – Football – 1996 – 1999 (All Pro – Philadelphia Eagles)
Patrick Surtain – Football 1994 – 1997 (All Pro – Miami Dolphins)
Adalius Thomas – Football 1996 – 1999 (All Pro – Baltimore Ravens/New England Patiriots)
Jerry Taylor – Football 1954 – 1956 (Alumni Committee Inductee)
The induction ceremony was quite fun!! I had 57 people come for me which I was told was the largest crowd ever for a single athlete. I would say something like I’m special and have a lot of friends………but the truth is, I’m special and have a lot of friends!! No, really, I communicate well and talked several of my friends into coming to a very large party and because it was a great party………….and so they came!!
It was quite an honor to be inducted – and as I said earlier, it was a bit surreal for me. Especially since there were so many famous professional football players going into the Hall in my class. It was quite a pleasure meeting them.
My most favorite part of it was the pride I saw on my children’s faces and in their actions. My son was actually quite giddy about the whole thing and not only made several posts about it on facebook, he ran around with his camera and his beautiful girlfriend and got his picture made with all those All Pro NFL players as if he were 12 years old. And I thought that was precious!!
My athletic accomplishments were obviously long before my children were born and therefore they really had no inkling of my achievements…………..but due to this ceremony and the very nice things that were said about me at the induction ceremony, they got a glimpse of it. And for that, I am extremely gratified and a bit prideful.
But don’t worry……………I am certainly very careful with the pride thing because it is absolutely one of the seven deadly sins!!
I went up in the third position due to the alphabetical nature of the induction and from the response of the crowd, I was the hit of the show. I say that because my sense of humor is such that the softball questions that my friend John Cox, the MC of the event, asked me afforded me the opportunity to use my wit to my advantage.
Plus the fact that I love public speaking…………….It has been said that Keith Kennedy with a microphone and a crowd is a very dangerous thing!!
All in all, it was quite an honor and I have a very thankful heart that I was able to share this experience with so many of my close friends.
And in addition to all that, I was dressed to the 9’s including my size 15 gangster shoes which are pictured lovingly above!!
So my thanks to all who came and especially all who voted – you all made this old man very happy!!