Cribbs talks success

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

It’s difficult to believe a high school and collegiate All-American and a former NFL player knows that much about failure.

But Joe Cribbs isn’t shy about admitting he’s come up on the short end a time or two.

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That’s probably because he’s done all right in the end.

“The good Lord has blessed me in so many ways,” Cribbs said. “I’ll tell you five keys to being successful. It’s the five Ps: Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You have to make practice more important than the game. If you work hard in practice, the game will come.”

Cribbs was speaking mainly to the four student-athletes who received scholarships during the Selma Quarterback Club’s final meeting of the season Monday.

For the first time in club history, four $1,000 scholarships were presented to local high school students. Logan Cowart of Morgan Academy won the J. Harmon Carter Scholarship, Patrick Bonner of Selma High won the Larry Striplin Jr. Scholarship, Jim Boozer of Morgan Academy won the Fred Davis Jr. Scholarship and Donovan Lewis won the W. Forrest Hatfield Scholarship.

Cribbs failed to make the traveling squad early in his playing career at Auburn, but he left as the school’s third all-time leading rusher with a degree in criminal justice.

Cribbs also admitted the “5 Ps” motto has helped in his life beyond football.

It drove him to starts the Joe Cribbs Foundation, which helps youth in Alabama.

It brought him back home, where he was a standout at Sulligent High. Cribbs makes his home in Birmingham and says he is enjoying the family life football never allowed him time for.

When asked whether he would let his youngest son go to Alabama to play ball, Cribbs made no bones about his allegiance.

“If my son gets a scholarship to Alabama, I have to let him go. I’ll go to the game, and I’ll be on the sideline telling him to fumble the ball,” Cribbs said jokingly.

Cribbs has found his commitment to athletics and academics can be fused into the same vein.

He is president of the Alabama franchise of the newly formed All-American Football League. The league promotes education and a positive image by mandating that its players have college degrees.

The AAFL also hopes to put a good product on the field when the season opens in April.

“I almost don’t want to say it, but I will say it. We want the AAFL to be squeaky clean,” Cribbs said. “We want tough drug testing policies. We want players to get into the community and perform so many hours of community service. Football is only going to last so long, and when it’s done they’re going to be a part of that community.”