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One day when he was 13, Michael Irvin, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver, decided to ditch school. As punishment, his father brought him to work with him the next day. It was a 14-hour workday, 110-degree heat, with only 15-minute lunch break to eat sardines and crackers. By the end of the day, “Irvin’s shirt was encrusted in sweat, dust, plaster, and mud. He went home and collapsed into bed, vowing to never skip school again. He kept that filthy shirt and brought it with him to hang on the wall of his dorm room at the University of Miami and later in his house in Dallas, a visual reminder of the way hard work looked and smelled. ’My dad was a 100-percenter,’ he said. ‘All work, every day.’”

Irvin translated that experience into the work ethic that landed him in the NFL Hall of Fame. --Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell

ESPN the Magazine; December 24, 2012 p. 90

2 Thessalonians 3:8-12 (HCSB) (8) we did not eat anyone’s food free of charge; instead, we labored and struggled, working night and day, so that we would not be a burden to any of you. (9) It is not that we don’t have the right ⌊to support⌋, but we did it to make ourselves an example to you so that you would imitate us. (10) In fact, when we were with you, this is what we commanded you: “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” (11) For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly, not working at all, but interfering with the work ⌊of others⌋. (12) Now we command and exhort such people by the Lord Jesus Christ that quietly working, they may eat their own food.

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