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NFL features late Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch’s legacy lives on.

As a result of his New York Times best-selling book, The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, which is based on his final lecture at Carnegie Mellon, Pausch has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC News.

Most recently, his story has been featured on ESPN.

The longest-running sports series on television, NFL Films Presents, aired a segment spotlighting Pausch, which ran on ESPN, the NFL Network, and NFL.com over the winter break.

Footage of Pausch giving his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon was featured, focusing on the part when he talked about his childhood dream of playing in the National Football League.

Although Pausch remembers he was the smallest person on his childhood football team, he recollects that the most important things he learned from his years on the football field, the place where he felt the most comfortable even in his adult years, were teamwork, sportsmanship, and perseverance.

“Randy taught many things, but most importantly the process to success,” said Kerry Handron, a former colleague of Pausch’s at the Entertainment Technology Center, upon watching the clip.

NFL Films wanted to illustrate this process to show that mastering the fundamentals of a craft is essential before centralizing on the “fancy stuff” as Pausch conveys.

J.J. West, an executive at ESPN, recalled, “for me, The Last Lecture has sharpened my desire to do more with my life and has reminded me to continue to dream big because anything is possible.... Pausch’s mantra: ‘Don’t Complain, Just Work Harder’ because ‘complaining does not work as a strategy’ is a quote which is commonly used in sports but applies to everyday life. We thought sports fanatics could learn a lot from Pausch about putting things in perspective and reflecting on what’s most important in life.”

Pausch never played professional football, but he did get to suit up with the Pittsburgh Steelers, his favorite team, before he died. In his last lecture, Pausch said, “I did not make it to the National Football League, but some things you’re not going to do, so maybe you just want to stand close to the people ... If I didn’t get the dream of playing in the NFL, that’s okay, I probably got stuff more valuable.”

Pausch’s segment is scheduled to play several more times over the next few months on ESPN, the NFL network, and NFL.com, posthumously achieving his NFL dreams.