Former Giants and Jets punter Steve Weatherford inspired those in the building at his Become The CEO Of Your Life event in Jersey this week.
Set the stage: Hilton Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey; Former Giants and Jets punter Steve Weatherford, $100 million man Rylee Meek, and the rest of Kings Council putting together their two-day Become The CEO Of Your Life event.
It was a building near and dear to Weatherford’s heart. Throughout his football tenure in East Rutherford, Steve and his teammates stayed at Hilton Meadowlands during training camp and before home games.
The building is more than just a hotel to him, as it should be.
And as he stood on that stage in the large ballroom in front of entrepreneurs and numerous individuals from various career paths, Weatherford spoke on discovering his own value at such a young age.
“I was so desperate to be valuable. The first time I ever felt really valuable and celebrated was at about eight years old if I’m remembering correctly,” he said. “It was about third grade and I was playing sports. I remember walking off the soccer field having like three or four goals and I remember parents constantly coming up to me saying, ‘Hey, we never would’ve won the game [without you] Steve, great job. Little Steve you’re awesome man, you’re so fast, you’re so good on defense’
“And I remember how good that would make me feel, so I decided in that moment…I decided my value was sports, I decided my value was winning, and it was tough at eight years old. We’d go back and watch these VHS tapes with my mom and I look at my face and I’m not smiling…we’d win the game, I’d just walk off. We’d lose a game, and I’d cry and walk off. And with my mom, we’d be watching them now, and I’m like, ‘Was I always like this?’ And she goes, ‘oh, you were so serious.’
“And going through my mind right now, it did make sense as to why — I just wanted to be good, man.”
His true value was always up to him — the decision that it would be winning certainly paid off in February 2012 amid the most notable victory of his football career.
In his inaugural season with the Giants, Weatherford finally reached the highest stage of the game and played a role in the ousting of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 46.
The site of the game? Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, not too far from Crown Point, Indiana — where Steve was born.
“So it was Feb. 5, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, playing Tom Brady, I had the best game I’ve ever had in my life — I had four punts, every single one was inside the 10-yard line; the 2-yard line, 6-yard line, 8-yard line. The very next play after my first punt was a sack in the Super Bowl, and I know I’m going through this really quickly but the thing that I want you guys to understand is, this was 46 miles from my hometown,” Weatherford told the audience. “I’m in my seventh year in the NFL. I’m about to play, not only in front of my dad…grandma’s there, grandpa’s there, mom, my kids, everybody that I care about, 124 million people watching on TV, I had the greatest game of my life.
“To the point, at halftime, [NBC commentators] Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels were having a conversation, and Michaels said ‘Cris, I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but if we’re voting for Super Bowl MVP at halftime, I’d give it to the punter, Steve Weatherford.’ I’m so glad they didn’t have TVs on in the locker room — I would’ve had to change my pants, that’s how shocked I was.
“Because I’m a punter, guys. I’ve played so many games where it really didn’t matter if I was on the field or not, but this was the biggest game of all time. And when I was called upon, I had my greatest performance.”
It undoubtedly mattered that Weatherford was on the field that very night — one of the more memorable evenings of numerous peoples’ lives, including his.
Weatherford’s efforts on the field affected those who witnessed them, and the discussions had at the Become The CEO Of Your Life events certainly influence those who possess the privilege of attending.