I had the awesome priviledge of shaking hands with Tom Landry not once, but twice in my life.
For a Cowboys fan from the 60's living in WV that was the most awesome thing. Surreal.
Once was beneath the bleachers underneath 3 Rivers Stadium after we played the Steelers in 1988 I believe. It was Landry's last season. I stood between their lockerroom and their bus and shook hands with as many players and coaches as I could. Coach Landry, Randy White, Too Tall, M. Irvin, Bill Bates, Jeffcoat. Somehow they snuck Herschel Walker past me because I saw him on the bus but he didn't walk past me.
The second time was after a Fellowship of Christian Athletes banquet where Coach Landry was the guest speaker at WVU in Morgantown.
Both times he looked me square in the eyes and asked me how I was doing.
We all have many stories that we cherish about Landry, but one that stands out to me that is as much about him as a man as it was about football.
They tell the story that at a post Super Bowl celebration party, some of the players decided to throw Coach Landry into the pool. Well they managed to get him into the pool, but he took 5 players in with him.
Afterwards, as all of the players were climbing out of the sides of the pool, Coach Landry walked stoically the length of the pool and walked up the steps in the shallow end.
Always under control, always in control, always a gentleman, always poised.
About a month ago I saw a rebroadcast on TBN from a visit Coach Landry made a few years after he retired from coaching. He shared his testimony of when he became a Christian and what meant to him in his life as a coach, father and husband. I was mesmorized watching him.