By Anthony Armstrong
My first league experience was with the Dolphins in ’08. Bill Parcels and about half of the Cowboys staff made their way to sunny South Florida. A lot of vets came on board. I played Madden often, so I was hyped to share the field with names I recognized like Vernon Carey, Will Allen, Akin Ayodele, Jason Taylor and Ronnie Brown.
The highlight of it all was getting to know Joey Porter. We were actually locker neighbors. All I knew about JP was how loud his was, and he known for getting after quarterbacks. I didn’t rush to judgement, but assumed he would have an attitude about him. I was wrong.
Learning from the vets is the biggest key to success for any young player so watching JP work was special. On the field he was special. Flying around, causing havoc and he had a drive to win every play.
The way he treated the rookies was amazing. He was open, welcoming and helpful. If you had a question, JP would give you the answer.
The biggest thing I took away from Joey was how he handled his fan mail. This guy would sit down in front of his locker read every letter, and sign each and every card, picture, or whatever memorabilia that showed up.
I thought it was the coolest thing. This all-pro, Superstar linebacker actually took the time to write and reply to his fans.
I took that with me onto my future teams and still do it today. When I get some fan mail, I make sure to reply by answering any questions they may have asked.
I just got this on on my IG (ratedarmstrong), yesterday. It let’s me know that the extra time spent to sign an autograph, take a picture, or write a letter can potentially leave a lasting impression on someone.
Thanks for being an example, JP.
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