Second Chances – Michael Vick to Ted Williams – What a Difference a Week Makes!

At the end of 2010 President Obama congratulated the Eagles for giving Michael Vick a “Second Chance” and a media fire storm erupted.  Guess 2010 went out with a bang!  Then the first week of 2011 Ted Williams “golden voice” was discovered and “Second Chance” offers poured in.  What a difference a week makes!

Living in the light of a SECOND CHANCE – I have to honestly say, I was a bit discouraged by the response from the country related to President Obama’s statements about Vick.  Of course, Tucker Carlson’s (from FOX) opinion was shared far and wide that Vick should have been executed.  That’s absurd.  Yet, most of the comments seemed to have a common thread like this comment: “Perhaps the President should praise the many who have committed crimes, chosen to turn their lives around, and still live in poverty.”  It seemed that while folks were warm to the idea of a “Second Chance” there was a underlying feeling that success should allude those who have done wrong.  And, well, Michael Vick’s return to success so soon seemed to be a bit much for folks to swallow.


Second Chances don’t come easy – don’t come without a great deal of pain – and don’t typically come quick.  Reality is – “Second Chances” generally come – if they are even recognized – after life cleansing experiences that prepare the person for a new way to experience life.  And so seems the story of Ted Williams.   SEE THE VIDEO HERE!

The Ted Williams story – going from homeless to viral media sensation, like Michael Vick in many ways, is unusual.  Doral Chenoweth, a web producer for the Columbus Dispatch is the one who filmed the video that for Ted Williams was life changing.  But the story didn’t just happen the first week of 2011, rather, it was a series of mishaps that turned into the choice that made it happen for Mr. Williams.

According to an article by Jeff Labrecque – this story was almost a non-story.  It was ONE CHOICE that made a big difference.  And before sharing the story, think about those few words above.  It is true – ONE CHOICE – is all it takes to turn your life around or find the power of SECOND CHANCES!  Labrecque’s story reads in part as follows:

He’d (Chenoweth) first encountered Williams, his cardboard sign, and his baritone pipes a few weeks before that when he and his wife were driving past on their way to the store. “He just let loose with that velvety, old-school voice,” Chenoweth tells EW. “We had a good time, but you know, life goes on. The light turns green. I threw him a dollar and off we went.”

About a week later, though, Chenoweth, who’s worked for Dispatch for 20 years and calls himself a modern-day backpack journalist, endured a slow news day and needed something — anything — to shoot. He found Williams at the same corner, and this time when he said, ‘Say something with that great radio voice,” he had his FlipCam rolling. “It was so touching,” recalls Chenoweth. “I thought it was sweet.”

But Chenoweth had no clue he had gold. He felt the video’s ending was awkward and the clip ran a little too long. So he sat on the footage for weeks. Then, on Monday, when he needed something fresh, he dug up the video on his computer and popped in on to the paper’s website. And… nothing special. “It kind of did an average number of hits for a video on our website on a Monday,” says Chenoweth. “But Tuesday, some guy from Ohio State calls me out of the blue and says, ‘Your video is about to go viral.’ By Tuesday night, it was skyrocketing. And Wednesday was just a media frenzy.”

Chenoweth has spent the last few days witnessing Williams’ surreal ride from homelessness to mega-stardom. “It’s probably easier getting through to Obama [now] than Ted,” he jokes, adding that Williams is handling the transformation “like you might expect. He’s kind of excited, frazzled, but sharp all at the same time.”

About to fly home after a whirlwind trip to New York City, Chenoweth was reflective, hopeful for Williams, and still amazed by the events. “Maybe if I had released the video the week before Christmas, it never would’ve gained any traction in the national media,” he points out. “God’s in control of everything and God’s in control of this video. Ted’s got a real good outlook on it and so do I.”

I like what Chenoweth said, “God’s in control of everything and God’s in control of this video.”  Perhaps those words are worth reflecting on.  For those of us who believe in God – and I do – I agree 100% God is in control of everything.  While I have “free will” to make some stupid choices – and I did – God was in control, knowing that I, like everyone, had to experience the consequences that were perfect for me.  Likewise, “Second Chances” don’t come just because, they or the opportunities for them appear when we are ready to make life changing choices.

I welcome Ted Williams unique opportunity for his “Second Chance” and know that his story has inspired many.  Perhaps as we move from 2010 into 2011 – from one decade into another – we will find a spirit of hope and a knowing that when we make the right choices we, too, can find our “Second Chance”!



My path of choices which produced some “negative consequences” and powerful “positive results” is chronicled in my new book – SECOND CHANCES: Transforming Adversity into Opportunity.    If you’d like to read some excerpts click here.  Otherwise, if you’d like to know how to gain your “Second Chance” I, with humility say, I think my book will provide some needed insight into how you can transform your life and choices into opportunity and success.

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