For the fourth-straight year, the keynote speaker of the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Kickoff Luncheon delivered an outstanding message.
Eight-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys spoke to the more than 800 people in attendance about striving for greatness.
Witten, named the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, earned that distinction with his outstanding play on the field, but more importantly, his charitable works.
He started the Jason Witten SCORE Foundation to combat domestic violence and provide children with a father figure using a mentor program.
He also established learning centers at the Boys and Girls Clubs in East Dallas, Knoxville, Tenn., where he played college football at the University of Tennessee, and his hometown of Elizabethton, Tenn. He also hosts a free youth football clinic in his hometown each summer, which draws in more than 1,200 kids.
Witten began his speech by telling a humorous story about the preseason game the Cowboys and New Orleans Saints played at Independence Stadium in Shreveport in 2006.
“I have a soft spot for college football and the bowl games,” Witten said. “Some of my best memories as a college athlete came at the bowls I played in. It’s a great experience.
“I think the hospitality you receive when you arrive in a city, I think everyone feels that energy. I think that’s what makes this community so great, and that’s why I was thrilled to come kick it off.”
He then spoke of his characteristics of greatness: hating to lose, doing everything for the team and establishing a legacy.
“It’s hard to say if (Witten) is a better football player, or a better person, because he’s really great at both,” 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl Chairman John Hubbard said. “He’s a perfect role model, and we are happy he made the trip to Shreveport to speak at the Kickoff Luncheon.”
Witten is the most recent in a line of prestigious football personalities to speak at the Kickoff Luncheon, joining Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Bowden and Lou Holtz.
*Note: If you attended the Kickoff Luncheon and would like to complete our survey of the event, please click here.