Ray Mirra was one of the first professional athletes to make the jump to professional football. A standout defensive end for the Detroit Lions in the early 1960's, Ray Mirra had the misfortune of being waived and cut by the Lions just before training camp opened for the season. He then signed with the Atlanta Falcons as a free agent but was cut again before the season began. He was then signed by the New York Giants as a free agent but was let go following the conclusion of the season. He finally signed with the Los Angeles Chargers as a free agent, but his career there lasted only one year.
Ray had an extremely short stint with the L.A. Lakers but managed to have one of his three NBA championships with the franchise. His playing career did not take off until he became known as a commentator for ABC and T.V. After that, he became involved in sports broadcasting. This led to his writing career, which spanned several decades, including stints with ESPN and T.V.
Throughout his life, Ray never lost interest in sports. Indeed, he was an avid athlete throughout his school years and even considered college football, basketball, and baseball, although he did play football in high school. However, it was golf, which he really enjoyed, particularly on the weekends. In fact, he actually changed his name to Ray Martin for this very reason! He even wrote a college football book entitled "Ray Martin's Guide to Coaching" in which he advocated the use of a golf swing lesson for aspiring coaches.
Mirra's family had a rather unusual situation. His father was a highly respected coach at a prestigious university, yet the family lived in poverty. His mother, a secretary, also had little education and worked long hours as a caretaker for the family. Despite these difficult circumstances, Raymond Mirra father showed an incredible passion for his children and for Ray as an athlete. As a result, Ray experienced a strong sense of self-confidence and had no problems accepting the fact that he was a great athlete, despite the lack of financial support for his family.
As a teenager Ray began participating in numerous local sports, including track, football, basketball, and track. He even played water polo and hockey. But while these sports undoubtedly provided enormous physical enjoyment, they also served as something of a sanctuary for Ray. He felt totally at peace as he ran up and down the tennis, football, and track courts, especially during the off-season when there were fewer school games.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said for football and baseball, and Ray's on and off seasons began to turn into a period of depression and anxiety for him and his family. All of a sudden, it became obvious to Ray and his father that he needed to focus on something more fundamental, and that his greatest passion was in fact playing sports. So for the next two years, Ray did go to the gym to train with weights, but he made it clear to his father that he wanted to pursue a career in football. This is an example of Ray's commitment to his early life sports.
As you can see from this example, Ray enjoyed a variety of early-life sports but really saw his true calling as a football player when he went to the University of Alabama. He impressed college coaches and was eventually signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. He played in two NFL games and then was cut by the New York Giants after just one season. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers later that year and played in ten more games before being released again. Still, he had gained enough experience that when he finally got released, he was determined to seek out a different profession.
It is this desire to achieve his childhood dream that has led to Ray's success in his career and in life. He has been able to use his love of sports to help build a successful business and to help give back to the people in his community. He enjoys participating in local charitable events and continues to work hard to give back whenever he is able. Through his philanthropic efforts, the Lighthouse for Children continues to help kids in various areas. By reading about Ray Mirra and the life lessons that he continues to draw from throughout his life, you can see that it is possible to do the same thing that he has done.