Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Perry Williams Ignites Movement to Inspire Children
By Steve Sidoti
Special to Pro Football Guru and NFL Female
“Not all who long for football are included in the play. Some only watch from sidelines, just waiting for that day, when they too will get a chance, making it more than just their dream, to catch the winning touchdown pass, and be a member of the team.” – Beyond the Laces
Sports demonstrate many life lessons that take place on the playing field. They teach us how to handle competition, deal with adversity, and more importantly—strive for greatness. At the professional level, sports give us daily examples of both hope and perseverance. Professional athletes have the ability to defy the odds, set records, win awards, and win championships.
As great accomplishments as these may be, the true gift of athletes is not what they accomplish on the field, it is the impact they have on our children – this according to author Bob Salomon. Together with former New York Giant, and two-time Super Bowl champion, Perry Williams, they have teamed up to deliver this message through Bob’s highly anticipated children’s book entitled Beyond the Laces.
Beyond the Laces, which is set to release in November, is sports at its best. The story truly puts the professional athlete’s impact on our youth into perspective and will inspire children and families to overcome the many obstacles that life may bring, and encourage not to give up. The book’s storyline will appeal to all ages by showing that with faith, hope, and courage, anything is possible.
“The story touches the heart with its pure theme of selflessness,” says Bob Salomon. “Within that theme the story has multiple messages which are so powerful to those going through life’s many challenges. Not only will it inspire, but, like Perry Williams, it will bring many professional athletes together for a greater good. And that good is to positively impact children by making the difference in their lives that only a professional athlete can make.”
Williams will serve as the head spokesman for the book, or “the face of the movement,” as Salomon gladly describes him. The former NFL cornerback, who played in the NFL from 1984-1993, totaled nine full seasons, all with the New York Giants. He won two Super Bowls in his tenure and was considered to be an integral part of both championship teams.
Since Williams’ retirement over twenty years ago, he has been involved in numerous educational and outreach programs. In addition to helping children in the community, Williams also serves as a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and is a nationwide motivational speaker.
Williams, whose main focus is giving back, caught the eye of Salomon through a mutual friend. It was not the Super Bowl rings or the accolades that made Williams stand out, it was his mindset, vision, and a true passion to make a difference.
“The athlete that I knew had to be the face of this project is Perry Williams,” Salomon said. “Everything Perry represents is what my movement is all about. He has used his platform for greater good and has impacted so many lives already. I knew this was a blessing. He needed to be here. The real hero in Beyond the Laces is number 87, and Perry is the real-life version of my book’s hero. I am grateful for him and his friendship. He is the true gift to this project.”
“Bob’s heart and soul is working with youth and making a difference and that’s what I am all about,” Williams said. “When he brought Beyond the Laces to my attention, it really touched home. The power of the athlete today is so extraordinary. They have the ability to touch lives and really have an impact on our children, whether it is giving them strength or teaching them to do the right thing. I was in awe of all that Bob did in the past while using baseball to help kids. I knew that he was on to something big—something that is so desperately needed in sports today.”
Together, Salomon and Williams hope to inspire and help children through Beyond the Laces. To them, this book is just a vehicle to help youth through sports. They want to connect athletes to children and use sports as a platform to help kids and their families. They plan to do so by hosting charity events, and touring hospitals and schools throughout the United States, all while bringing some of the greatest athletes in the world with them.
“My goal is to have hundreds of athletes supporting us,” Salomon said. “We want to bring athletes together under one umbrella and bring a very powerful message of kindness. I ask that everyone help drive the movement of helping children.”
Salomon is no stranger to gaining the support of athletes. Over the past four years, he has dedicated his life to helping children by using sports as a platform. He helped produce the award winning children’s book, A Glove of Their Own, and created a movement that mirrors the book’s message of paying-it-forward and helping underprivileged children.
Through hard work and a vision, he attracted the attention of numerous baseball greats such as Don Mattingly, Jim Eisenreich, Roy White, Bernie Williams, Jason Grilli, Tommy John, and Doug Glanville among many others.
In addition to Perry Williams, the football themed book has already caught the attention of some former players in the National Football League. Mark Brunell, Bill Bates, Mike Hollis and Tony Collins have all shown their support for this project.
Throughout this journey, Williams and Salomon continue to maintain the importance of what they are doing. Their egos are nonexistent. Salomon will always maintain that he is just a dad and a family man, while Williams strongly strives to be known as the man behind the uniform.
“It’s not about the superstar on the field,” added Williams. “It’s all about making a difference in someone’s life and that’s what this project is all about. That’s why myself and others are involved with Bob and follow his lead.”
In addition to the athletes that are already on board, Bob Salomon has put together a team that shares his passion and vision. The Beyond the Laces project also consists of published co-author Rick Young, illustrator Ken Jones and project manager Matthew Gallaro.
“When you bring like-minded people together with a pure agenda, you can move mountains,” added Salomon.
Gracefully, that is just what this author is doing. It is about bringing sports back to what they once were and uniting, all for one common purpose - inspiring children.
To join the movement and to learn more, please feel free to contact Bob Salomon directly at BSalomonDanJulie@aol.com.
Also, special thanks from Bob Salomon to Gator Communications Group, a printing company in Fairfield, NJ, for getting behind the movement and assisting with the book’s efforts.