Growing up in Massachusetts, most kids my age had to go through D.A.R.E. It was an anti drug program where they would get the coolest cops in town to talk about how scary marijuana is.
At the end of fifth grade, we all had graduation from this program, which if you look at Burlington, it clearly didn’t work. They told us a famous patriot was going to be there.
This was around 2005 so we all figured it was going to be Tom Brady or Teddy Bruschi. They decided to bring in Ronnie Lippett.
Mind you, all of our class was born in 94-95 so bringing in a player that finished in 91’ was just an odd move.
I have no hate for Ronnie Lippett, but when you have Tom Brady as an imaginary standard it’s hard to live up to.
Ronnie was awesome and he spoke to all of us about staying away from drugs and how cool it was being a football player. Key moment here, Ronnie met me, we talked and it was cool.
All of us assembled in the auditorium and were ready for his speech and our graduation. Ronnie asked everyone who their hero was, a few of us lined up (including me).
One by one we went through and said who our hero is. It got to me, I got to talk to my new friend Ronnie. He was on stage and I was in the dark auditorium.
He said “Who is your hero little girl…”
I quickly responded with “I’m a boy.” I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t look like a gir!
OKAY LISTEN, JOHNNY DAMON WAS MY FAVORITE PLAYER. I GREW MY HAIR OUT FOR HIM AND HE LEFT LIKE THE BAD FATHER I NEVER HAD (shout out Jim Puopolo for being there). EVERYONE HAD AN AWKWARD PHASE!
So, I had long hair and I was chubby which gave me little boy boobs. Whatever, shut up. ANYWAY, I looked like a girl in the dark which is way worse when you’re in college so I’ll take my childhood win.
Ronnie was super apologetic after everyone laughed. Still not sure if it was at me or him, but judging off the next three years, it was at me.
He ended up finding me after and apologizing and gave me a signed photograph. He was and probably still is an awesome guy who was super kind. He gave me an amazing story that I can carry for the rest of my life. Thank you Ronnie Lippett.