May 10, 2012

Light is Retiring; Does He Get a Sign

We have revived a column from Joy's Junque written in February in honor Matt Light's announcement that he is retiring. This also leads to today's Question of the Day, which can be found on the Opinion Page.

Will Someone Please Give Me a Sign

Joy's Junque

After we had lived in Greenville for awhile and got a feel of the land, I considered it my duty to raise kids who would someday earn their own room in the Garst Museum. Ok, Ok, I’m still working on it.
We do love our successes. I’ll give it to Annie Oakley – everyone in the world knows about her. And, my gosh, we even planted the house of a man who may have, kind of, exaggerated the whole Lawrence of Arabia thing, right smack dab in a field close to the city park. And KitchenAid – those mixers are in every TV kitchen and who doesn’t like to brag that they are made right here?
I think my street is the only one in town that doesn’t have a sign announcing that Greenville is the home of the 2007 Girls Softball State Champs. I love the house in Ansonia that tracks Tiger football on the front lawn. And Versailles. Well, they really should just put a stop light on the edge of town so everyone has an excuse to pause and read the ever rising sign of pride.
So, where is Matt Light’s sign? Am I missing something? Family and friends who visits ask why we don’t have a sign taking “bragging” rights for being Matt’s hometown. I don’t know. You would think a trip to the Rose Bowl and three trips to the Pro Bowl would be enough.
Today the hometown boy will be making his fifth trip to the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, in hopes of scoring his fourth Super Bowl Ring. No small feat. Charles Haley has five; Mean Joe Greene has four rings and everyone remembers his moving Pepsi commercial. Heck, Matt has been in commercials, too, and everyone remembers his ‘moving’ in the Sobe commercial a few years ago.
OK, for those of you who don’t follow football, how about considering his off the field endeavors? The Light Foundation – helps young people through grants, scholarships and outdoor activities; raises and donates thousands of dollars each year, has conducted football camps for more than 800 kids and workshops or programs for more than 1,000 others. Recently, Matt's foundation donated new weights, jerseys and equipment to the Greenville High School football team.
He’s an area landowner, too, owning 200 acres in Greenville for The Light Foundation's “Rules of 72” Outdoor Learning Facility, where youths of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds enjoy outdoor activities.
Watch as you travel through any burg in the country and they have signs in the city giving homage to their hometown prides. Even athletes in Dayton have streets named after them. The closest we have in Greenville is the Dayton Power and Light sign and that doesn’t count…
If someone needs to make an official request to the city, I’ll do it. If someone needs to raise funds, I’ll spearhead it. After all, too, have my own bowl cred. Several, several years ago, I sat through a blizzard with my dad and, maybe only about 20 other football diehards, to watch the first and last, Aviation Bowl in Dayton.


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