Picture two men of great strength, power, and presence. The seventh president of the United States of America, “Old Hickory” himself, Andrew Jackson, and Atlanta Falcons running back, Steven Jackson. These iconic Americans share more than just a name, they share a history. Years may separate their paths through life, but despite their obvious differences, they are more alike than many may think. They may not share the same occupation, have the same political presence, or be equally athletic, but in a profound sense, they filled pivotal roles for the people who needed them most.
As both bright young men, and impressive hard workers, Andrew and Steven excelled in their studies and both proved to be successful in many aspects of life. Even with his lack of schooling and immense poverty, Andrew Jackson was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1781 driven by the death of his parents. His work in Tennessee, a successful law practice in the frontier of the nation, made him a wealthy man. He later moved on to politics, joining a convention that was charged with drafting a new Tennessee state constitution, and was elected as a representative of the House of Representatives. As a successful member of the Democratic Party, his popularity grew as his aggressive personality defined his strength. Jackson found the right balance of appealing to the people and appealing to his party, unified the nation like no one else could. His efforts catapulted the future success of the Democratic Party and American reforms. Much like Andrew, Steven Jackson achieved success through his work ethic. An excellent student, Jackson was accepted into many Ivy League schools, but chose to pursue an NFL career and attended Oregon State University. His success in college resulted in the opportunity to play in the NFL, as the 24th overall pick to the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 NFL draft. As a rookie, his outspoken and aggressive nature gave him problems in his earlier career causing people to see him the wrong, but he did his best to explain, he just wanted to contribute to the team. In his coming years as a NFL running back he had the speed, power, and stats to back up his “talk.” Seen as one of the premiere NFL running backs he has made a successful career despite injuries and a disappointing Rams team, year after year. Jackson put the team on his back and shaped the Rams into top playoff contenders. His efforts have never given him a championship title, but there is no one doubting his skill.
The real question is: how do these men find themselves in the same role? It is simple really. With Andrew Jackson as the face of the nation and Steven Jackson as the face of the St. Louis Rams (now currently the face of the Atlanta Falcons), they each in a sense led their respective teams to victory. Individually they were flawless and provided the necessary credentials to succeed in many aspects of life, but by narrowing their interests, they faced insurmountable challenges and still found the courage and strength to succeed. Their efforts will never be forgotten, nor will their American spirit, as they continue to inspire and influence the flow of American history.