Sports hold a special place in our hearts because they hold a special place in our imagination.
As children, we all dream of the glory of one day raising our hands in triumph and declaring victory after a long-fought battle between warriors. We dream that one day we'll be somebody important who millions of people will watch in awe.
Our hometown boy Jake Reed made those dreams come true, and in the process changed the world for those special people around him.
Sports are one of the great equalizers, and Reed built upon his natural ability to take himself from a small, crowded house in Covington's Harristown community to the pinnacle of one of America's most competitive professions.
Reed went on to play a dozen seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL, but it was his time at Grambling State University that recently earned him recognition when he was named to the school's Legends Hall of Fame.
Reed began his football journey right here in Newton County, when he showcased his pass catching skills at Newton High School in the late 1980s.
After graduation, his chances of going on to play college ball seemed slim, but football legend Eddie Robinson gave Reed a chance to keep the dream alive by recruiting him to play at Grambling.
The rest is history. Reed finished a successful run at Grambling, was drafted in the third round of the 1991 NFL draft and went on to play 12 season for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, topping the 1,000-yard receiving standard four times.
Reed was certainly fortunate that God gave him some natural physical ability, but without the love and support of his family, the trust and teaching of coaches along the way and his own drive to succeed, Reed wouldn't have fulfilled his childhood dreams.
We're proud of Jake Reed, and we hope his story serves as an example for the young people.