I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees,

I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees,

Asked the Lord above, “Have mercy, now, save poor Bob if you please. . . .”

                                                                                     Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues”

One night in 2016, during pregame warm-ups at an away game in Miami, with the “risin’ sun goin’ down,” an opposing coach approached me to say hello. As we shook hands he asked me a question. I smiled at him and replied:

“No sir! I promise, with my hand over my heart, I have never met the devil at any crossroads.”

                                                                          Michael Lynch, “The Golden Gladiator”                                                                                      

Let me start off by assuring anyone who opens up this book that I have never been to Clarksdale, Mississippi. However, one of these days I would love to go, and I will, because I have always been enchanted by the stories and the unique heritage of the South, and have been since I was a little boy. So, needless to say, I have never been to a particular crossroads in that town at the intersections of Highway 61 and 49 in the dead of night to rendezvous or consort with any infernal beings of dubious character pertaining to my blissful journey back to the gridiron.

In fact, in my case there were no deals cut at any crossroads anywhere with anyone. I will leave that alluring Southern myth of meeting up with a deal-making devil at a crossroads to one of the great Delta bluesmen and one of the legends of the deep South and our past, Robert Johnson.

Also, contrary to an article written about me in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, 68-Year-Old Michael Lynch Playing Semi-Pro, Championship Football,” I have not found Ponce de Leon’s “fountain of youth.” The real fountain of youth can be summed up in one phrase: “It’s all in the mind.”

Always remember, you never have to be the strongest, the fastest, or the biggest. However, you have to believe in yourself and you can never let fear inter your heart in your relentless pursuit of fulfilling your dreams. Live your life and live each precious day as if it was your last. And live it like a hero.

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