Aeneas Williams spent a decorated National Football League career keeping track of offensive players who came into his defensive backfield during his years in the secondary for the Arizona Cardinals and later the St. Louis Rams. Good luck to anyone trying to keep up with him over the next few days.
He'll be coming and going between his home in Creve Coeur and Indianapolis, host of this year's Super Bowl, and also the place he'll learn if he'll be elected to the 2012 Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Wednesday he heads to the Hoosier State to participate in a series of presentations with local youth there about successful careers in sports, as well as successful lives outside of sports.
Sticking To Routine
Williams says he's not focused on the buildup to Saturday night's announcement of the 2012 Enshrinees to the Hall of Fame--he's a finalist for the first time.
He's busy as pastor of The Spirit Church and is a regular on area media outlets talking about the Rams and the NFL, while also the father to four children, in addition to speaking engagements.
But it's that focus on the routine that will likely be responsible whenever the call to the Hall comes.
"Be yourself, do things the way they're supposed to be done," he told Patch by phone earlier this week. And when you don't know the answer, find someone who does.
"I knew they knew something I didn't know," Williams said of fellow football players during his career. So he'd pay his own money to see them, learn from them, study up, call them. All told, he estimates between 60-70 percent of those who he learned from were All-Pros or current or future Hall of Fame players.
That study, that personal investment made him a model for others, with eight Pro Bowls and three All-Pro nods to show for it.
Williams will make two trips to Indianapolis this weekend, coming back to St. Louis for a Friday function involving one of his children, then return to the epicenter of the NFL universe.
To hear him tell it, sharing the actual game Sunday with his family for the first time--he and his wife Tracy have attended four Super Bowls--sounds like the big event, no matter what happens Saturday night at an event to be broadcast on the NFL Network.
He described the scene which unfolded at Busch Stadium this fall as the Cardinals made their improbable run to a World Series title. He would come across older fans who would lean over and tell his kids how they would never forget the experience of what they were seeing firsthand. It's a football experience he's eager to share with his own family.
Viewers of Hall of Fame induction speeches are accustomed to waterworks. For the athlete, it is the culmination of a career, and sometimes, it can turn into a "look at me" moment for players with big egos feasting on the spotlight one last time. Don't expect that from Williams if and when the time comes. He says he hasn't thought specifically what he might say, but that it will be focused on thanking those who made the day possible.
He says he already has another speech written: his eulogy.
"I know how I want it to end," he said.