What are the odds of a black kid from a poor family from South Central Los Angeles?

1)…Finishing high school as an All-American athlete, as well as becoming a Golden Gloves boxer.

2)…Being offered 27 university football and basketball scholarships.

3)…Being one of the first black football players to attend and graduate from an almost all-white, Mormon University in Utah. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.

4)…Breaking his neck in a car crash in a car driven by his roommate, a future winning Super Bowl football coach, plunging through a guardrail 150 feet into the Truckee River, yet physically being unaffected by this injury in his playing career.

5)… Being recruited by Vince Lombardi, the greatest coach of all time, and making the team at the age of 20; playing tight end position for the Green Bay Packers for 7 years with no back up for 5 years.

6)… Opting to go to the Miami Dolphins for six years under another coaching legend, Don Shula, when his Green Bay contract expired.

7)… Playing in 3 NFL Championships, and being the first athlete to play in 5 Super Bowls I, II, VI, VII and VIII; winning 4 of them. Becoming a member of the historic Miami Dolphins undefeated 1972 Perfect Season.  Playing in the longest game and in the coldest game the Ice Bowl.

8)… Appearing in film, TV series, and talk shows. Traveling with Bob Hope on his legendary USO shows to entertain our American troops.

9)…. Hanging out with some of the most famous celebrities of the day. Bill Cosby, Joe Namath, Tom Selleck, Sammy Davis Jr., and Wilt Chamberlain are just a few names that come to mind. Being chosen as Ebony magazine’s 1970 Bachelor of the Year.

10)…  Winning $250,000 at a celebrity poker event in Las Vegas, never having played Texas Hold’em before. Donating the winnings to MADD, a most worthwhile charity.

11.)… Becoming President and founder of the 1972 Miami Dolphin Perfect Season team so we could take care of our team members and spouses who had fallen upon hard times.

12)…  Being inducted into the 2010 Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

What are the odds of me living such a life? Slim to nil.

It’s been a life of contradictions- hardships and easy times; I’ve seen deprivation and excess, prejudice and human decency, success and disappointments, good people and not so good people, celebrities and gangsters.

Yet this is the extraordinary life that I have been fortunate enough to lead. I am incredibly humbled by it.