Jim Moore brings up one of the many unselfish things Rick has done while being a head coach. This isn't an isolated thing either. Rick was up to something like this every week he was in Boulder and Seattle. You can bet that part of his behavior continues in Los Angeles.
People always have a strong opinion about Neuheisel and his undoing in Seattle was by his own hand. I always wondered what would have happened if he had the strong guidance of a person like Mike Lude rather than a Barbara Hedges.
"Six months after completing chemotherapy I was in Dallas over the holidays. Colorado was playing Oregon in the Cotton Bowl, so I decided to call Rick to see if I could get a ticket to the game. Rick and I hadn't spoken for over 5 years, he was pretty big-time, so when I left the message I wondered if he'd call back.
"Rick called me later that night and said, "Matty, I got you a sideline pass with a parka, because its going to be cold that night. Not only do I want to see you at the game, but we have two more practices left and a Cotton Bowl dinner, and I hope you come by my room at the Hyatt. Me and my family want to see you."
Another thing a lot of people might not remember is the secret trips he took each week to the hospital at Stanford to visit Curtis Williams. It didn't matter what was going on Rick would get on a private plane and go visit his ailing player. You don't see a lot of coaches do that because there simply isn't enough time even if the hospital is next to the football stadium. Rick made that time and never made an effort to have it become public.
We all know Rick had a tragic flaw in his character. The guy could never tell the truth. It always seemed like he was taking a page out of the Bill Clinton playbook. From what I have heard he has taken major steps that were the result of some harsh life lessons to eliminate that the best he can from his personality.
Only time will tell if the above statement is true but compassion for others was something he never lacked and that may be a more important personality trait. Here we are sitting in year four of Tyrone Willingham and many of us are wishing that the current coach had a few of Ricks positive personality traits.
In the end most of us are judged by what we do selflessly for others. We all have flaws but the one thing that puts us over the top as human beings is the empathy we have for those less fortunate.
What was your favorite Ty Willingham unselfish moment?