As former professional football player Dan Audick introduced himself, all eyes fell on the ring that was encrusted with diamonds shaped into a football.
This was none other than the Super Bowl XVI championship ring.
When Audick unveiled his ring during his special appearance at San Diego City College on Feb. 3, phones were immediately brought out.
Just in time to coincide with the Super Bowl 50 celebrations, the former left tackle told the story of his successful career in college football and National Football League. He was part of the San Francisco 49ers, led by then quarterback Joe Montana, that would claim the championship against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1982.
“It was fitting for the former Super Bowl XVI champion to speak because he played for San Francisco 49’ers and Super Bowl 50 was held in the Bay Area this year,” Co-director of the World Cultures Program Karen Lim said via email.
“I was the left tackle position protecting Joe Montana’s blindside,” Audick said.
A consultant for the 2009 motion picture “The Blind Side, ” based on the book by Michael Lewis.
“The Blind Side” is the true story of a young man by the name of Michael Oher who went from being homeless to being a first draft pick in the NFL. Oher was part of the National Football Conference champions Carolina Panthers that reached Superbowl 50.
Not only recognized as a player for such teams as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and San Diego Chargers but also earning a Master of Arts in Organizational Management and a doctorate in education at University of Southern California.
Diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, he also struggled with achieving the weight requirements for his position during his tenure in the University of Hawaii. He would continue playing football for the university despite his setbacks and eventually playing in the NFL. Drafted in the fourth round in 1977 by the Pittsburg Steelers.
Sharing the early hardships he had to endure to play football professionally. Audick shared with those in attendance to never be afraid to go for what you want.“We’re here to understand what passion is all about,” Audick said.
Perseverance and passion being key, whether it was protecting the blind side of any quarterback or earning his doctorate after retiring from football in 1982. That was Audick’s parting message for the City College crowd.
A message plenty could agree with.
“You need to go for your passion and push through your obstacles.” said City College student Lupita Lombardo.
“He definitely opened my eyes to passion. Before I went into cosmetology, I had no inspiration but listening to him helped me find the passion for cosmetology,” Pejovich said.