Professor Pausch goes deep

Reader Pete Veenbaas kindly updates us on Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch, whose “lecture of a lifetime” we noted here (quoting Jeffrey Zaslow’s Wall Street Journal column) and here (linking to the complete video of the lecture). On Wednesday Professor Pausch (almost) fulfilled his dream of playing in the National Football League when he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers for their practice. Working out with Steeler wide receiver Hines Ward (who is signing Professor Pausch’s jersey in the photo above), Professor Pausch did about as well as you would expect if you have watched his lecture:

Beneath sunny skies yesterday, Pausch jumped and dove to snatch every single pass from Ward out of midair. Clad in a No. 86 jersey and navy blue shorts that showed off his skinny legs, he looked every bit the professor, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said his moves were respectable. “You know, Hines doesn’t have to worry about his job security, but (Pausch is) impressive,” Tomlin said, adding that he, too, was inspired by Pausch’s story.

Off the field, Professor Pausch chatted with the Steelers’ owners:

After practice, Pausch visited the Steelers offices, where he met Chairman Dan Rooney and team President Art Rooney II. He spent a few quiet minutes with the Steelers’ five Vince Lombardi trophies.
“I’m glad you came down,” Dan Rooney said. “I saw you outside with all the guys — you were great.”
They chatted about Carnegie Mellon, the integrity with which Pausch believes the Rooneys run the Steelers organization and the Steelers’ chances for a Super Bowl win this season.
“I’ll make you guys a promise,” Pausch said. “You get into that Super Bowl, I’ll live to see it.”

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s story is “Dying prof tackles final dream — the NFL.”

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