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Charcuterie, Napkins and Active Engagement


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

Charcuterie is a French word that means the collection of cold cooked meats. Adding an assortment of cheeses to the mix creates something I decided to call “Active Engaged Eating”.

I don’t love cold meat as much as I love cheese. That’s why I have my own version of this eating experience that includes potato chips, cashews, apples, grapes and my favorite red wine infused cheese. Some may say potato chips and expensive cheese is two worlds clashing. But for me and my life, even knowing the word charcuterie is two worlds clashing!

The joy of putting different combinations of chips and fruit—and even nuts—together with every bite is exhilarating. The various groupings for the perfect mix of sweet and savory are endless.

But isn’t “Active Engaged Eating” a little bit like life. Through experiences, we must learn what we like and what we don’t like. We must try new things, we hear new words and we hear different points of view to become our best. When I put together the right combinations from my plate to create a taste that explodes, it feels like strategically assembling the right sequence of decisions that creates success and joy!

In the mindset of ‘trying to do your best’, just reaching for the chips and cheese is even fun. Do I choose a grape to go with this bite or the cashew? Do I wipe my hands on my jeans or keep it neat with a napkin?

Wiping your hands on your jeans symbolizes risk. But in real life we don’t always think we need a napkin. Like reaching for food, life should be fun picking the right people and experiences to engage. Seek to learn more in understanding fair business, honest work, a beneficial relationship or a path to good health. What are the risks, the rewards, the pitfalls? An active engaged life is necessary to own success.

So, take action!

Cheese and chips together are delicious. A napkin is better than your jeans.  And creating the right mix helps you understand real opportunity.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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