Yesterday, one of my heroes passed away. The reason I've been a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan is because of Don Perkins. He was a top running back for UNM and the first from New Mexico to make it big in the NFL.
On the Lobo field where they play football, they have huge pictures of all the Football players that have been All Americans. His is the first one on the side of the building. Brian Urlacher's is the last for now.
We moved to New Mexico in 1963 and the only football games on Sunday afternoon showed the Dallas Cowboys. The whole city went crazy because Don Perkins was their premier running back. I've been a 'Boys fan from then on. A very disgruntled one for the last twenty years. Dak Prescott makes them worth watching anymore.
After Don retired, he returned to New Mexico. He did some announcing, for a while did sports on a local TV station.
What I remember most was his work with the local high schools through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I was in 9th grade in junior high, my brother was a junior in high school and captain of our FCA huddle. He arranged a meeting at our house with Don Perkins. He forgot to tell Mom.
Mom answered the doorbell and Don Perkins was there a little early and Bruce wasn't home yet. He introduced himself and Mom didn't have a clue who he was, all she knew was that a big black man wanted to come inside.
Bruce drove up with a car full of jocks. They had a nice meeting. High school got out before junior high, and I had practice, so I missed it.
When I was teaching at Higland High School, Don put on a one-man presentation each period for the U.S. History classes. He portrayed Frederick Douglas and did a masterful job.
It's a sad day now that he is gone. Only a few Cowboy fans remember him now, and only the old timers like me in New Mexico know what a truly remarkable man her was.