Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fred Mitchell- Winner's Manual Speaker

Fred Mitchell, a former college football All-American, and renowned sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune, made his return to Halas Hall last evening to speak to the 2012 Lake Forest College Football Team. Mitchell a winner of the “Jim Murray Award” in 2000 and the “Bill Gleason Award” in 2009, was the Tribune's "beat writer" for the Chicago Bears during their time at Halas Hall. He reflected briefly on some of his interactions with Walter Payton, Mike Ditka, and Mike Singletary in the same room, which he was now addressing the Foresters.

 In addition to his achievements in writing, Mitchell is well known for his accomplishments in track, baseball, and football. At Wittenberg University, Mitchell was named All-American, set the NCAA College Division record for career kick scoring, and was inducted in Wittenberg’s Hall of Fame in 1995. Furthermore, in 2010, Mitchell was inducted into the Coaches Hall of Fame for Chicago Public League Basketball.

Mitchell reminisced as he talked to the players about the nostalgia of the sport. “You will never forget how you felt at a certain game, in a specific play with your teammates.” Mitchell then went on to stress the importance of playing college football, honoring it as a “privilege on every level.” The point that really seemed to send a message to the boys was this: “Everyone can handle success, but it’s how you handle failures. That’s what makes the difference on the field and in life.”

One aspect thing that caught a couple of players specifically, was when Mitchell discussed the recent issues at Penn State, relating it to a player whom he had met two months ago. He spoke about the necessity of protecting the legacy and the tradition that you are a part of. For the Penn State players, that is irreparably tarnished. They can never be the "SAME" Penn State. It is the responsibility of those of us in this room to make sure that LAKE FOREST is protected.

Soon after Mitchell was done speaking to the team, he took to TWITTER, and posted: "I enjoyed addressing the Lake Forest College football team this evening. Great group of men. Thanks for the invite, coach Jim Catanzaro."