Lott IMPACT Trophy

Ronnie Lott congratulates Week 2 winner Joe Dineen Jr.

Kansas linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. posted 14 tackles (eight solo), an interception and a quarterback hurry en route to a 31-7 win over Central Michigan, the Jayhawks’ first road victory in 46 games.

Ronnie Lott called the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week to congratulate him on the accomplishment, offer some wisdom, and ask about the emotion of the moment.

Lott: “I want to congratulate you on winning this week’s Lott award, but more importantly I want to congratulate you on how you’ve been able to help people. It’s one thing to play hard, it’s another thing to help people.”

Dineen: “I really appreciate it. This is a really cool experience for me. Obviously growing up and watching football I heard a lot about you, so this is kind of surreal for me and I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a call.”

Lott: “One of the great things in my life is that when I was young, I met a guy by the name of Deacon Jones and he said, ‘Whatever you do in life, be the best.’ And I want you to know whatever you do in life you be the best at whatever you can do, because 90% of the world can’t compete the way you can compete. I love the fact that you were able to get your job done and compete, but I got to ask you man, where does that come from?”

Dineen: “It’s my parents, they’ve pushed me ever since I was younger to, like you said, just try to be the best at whatever I do no matter what it is. I think there’s a certain thing you need to play football, and they raised me just to play no matter what the score, not to look at the scoreboard. Just to play 100 mph, as hard as you can, and good things will happen, so I’ve tried to do that ever since I started playing.”

Lott: “You guys did something that will go down this year as an incredible moment. How did that feel amongst your group of people, your teammates that you found a way to break [the curse.] Sometimes we forget that to change the world we first got to break the curse.”

Dineen: “It was so cool. Obviously we work as hard as any other team in the country. We have the athletes to do it; there’s just been a lull around Kansas football. Defensively we played really well and then the offense came through and made plays when we needed them to. It really was a cool experience to finally get a win on the road and get back on a plane happy and not sad.”

Lott: “What was the first thing you did when you got on the plane?”

Dineen: “Well when we got in the locker room we were jumping around and throwing water bottles, spraying water at each other. When we got on the bus the mood was just so much better than it ever has been. We actually had an hour bus ride back to the plane so everyone calmed down a little bit for the plane, fell asleep on the plane, but then when we got back into Lawrence it was a pretty fun night for us.”

Lott: “Did you take a moment to go, ‘You know what? How lucky am I that I got a chance to reflect on changing the dimensions of how people think about our organization?’”

Dineen: “You know I actually did. When everyone was going crazy in the locker room I took a step back from it and sat and watched. It was kind of an emotional moment because it’s been hard going through all this. I’m a fifth year senior so this is the first experience of winning in someone else’s house. It was really a cool experience and I hope we can get it going again.”

Lott: “Well I’ve got to say this to you man. Look, I’ve been playing ball and I’ve been playing life for a long time. And what you just reflected on is a moment of being able to appreciate the goodness of what you’ve been able to achieve in your life. And for me – thank you for sharing that moment – but more importantly man, the rest of your life know that moment will happen again. That moment will happen again and you want to strive for those moments, and the reason you want to strive for those moments is that your parents, your friends, your teammates have allowed you to be able to see that you can have that again.”

Dineen: “Yes sir, man I really appreciate you taking the time to give me a call. This is pretty cool for me.”

Lott: “Well thank you, because it’s pretty cool for me too. And the reason it’s cool for me is because you gave me a gift right there man. You gave me a gift to remind me how important life is man.”

Dineen: “No doubt.”

Lott: “Well keep playing hard and thank you man.”

Dineen: “I will. I really appreciate this call. Like I said this is a really cool moment. I won’t forget this at all.”

Lott: “Well I can tell you this. The great thing about where you’re at in your life right now is people like this, people in these moments will be in your heart forever man. Forever. I’m 58 years old and I still have moments in my life where I sit back and I go, ‘Man, thank you. Thank you God for allowing me to have these incredible moments. I didn’t know that this could happen in my life.’ Congratulations to you. You be well and keep getting it done. Let’s go!”

Dineen: “Yes sir, it’s week 2. We’ve got a lot of football left to play.”