• Paige Kornblue

ESPN's Desmond Howard inspires at YMCA Breakfast

Paige Kornblue goes one-on-one with former Heisman and Super Bowl MVP Trophy winner Desmond Howard as he shares life lessons and highlights from on and off the field

BOCA RATON, FL -- In the Big House, Desmond Howard made the Heisman pose famous.

In Boca Raton, you could say he called a reverse.

As the former Heisman and Super Bowl MVP Trophy winner and I kicked off our fireside chat-style program before 500 people at the YMCA Inspiration Breakfast on May 19, I asked him if he would show us his renowned pose.

"What do you think?" I asked. "Do you think you could do it for us?"

"Well, I think it’s better if you did it,” replied Howard.

ESPN's Desmond Howard hands the ball off to journalist and emcee Paige Kornblue to teach her his famous Heisman pose
ESPN's Desmond Howard hands the ball off to journalist/emcee Paige Kornblue

Following a roar from the crowd of 500, Desmond went on to teach us all the pose... and a whole lot more.

"Never be afraid to better yourself and be yourself. Don’t try to imitate or emulate someone else. The best gift you have is your originality. It doesn’t get any better than that," said Howard.

Emcee Paige Kornblue and ESPN's Desmond Howard at the YMCA Gameday Set

Howard provided the play-by-play of his childhood, his memories from the YMCA, college at the University of Michigan, the story behind his famous 1991 catch in the Notre Dame game and his famous pose during the Ohio State game, his time in the NFL, the awards and lessons he has learned on-air and on and off the field.

And sprinkled throughout his captivating stories, Howard delivered numerous motivational messages.

Howard honored as first "Michigan Football Legend" (Photo courtesy of Dr. Ed Kornblue, 9/10/2011)

"I think first and foremost I think we need a lot more kindness in the world. I think it doesn’t take much effort to be kind in the world. Give a compliment, give a smile. I think that goes a long way. And for the youth I tell them to make sure that you listen. There are a lot of people out there that are supporting you or doing things. We are in your corner, trying to make sure you have a certain level of success.You have to listen to the people who are trying to help you. When you’re a teenager, we’ve all been there, you think you know all the answers but the ones who are successful are the ones who learn to listen and they just interject their own personality into whatever it is they’re trying to do in this life," said Howard.

YMCA Inspiration Breakfast Event Chair & Office Depot National Director of Community Investment, Alex Price
Desmond Howard with YMCA Dir. of Development Kimberley Trombly-Burmeister and CEO Jason Hagensick

The Inspiration Breakfast raised over $275,000 dollars for the YMCA of Southern Palm Beach County. The funds will provide financial assistance scholarships for the YMCA's youth development programs.

An event preview party was held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club headlined by former NFL General Manager and current ESPN insider Mike Tannenbaum.

"How lucky we all are... we are coming out of an historic pandemic and there’s no better way to recognize that than to be here with the YMCA and they’re a pillar of our community and we’re lucky that they’re part of the South Florida community. When you go through life and the ups and downs it brings you, you can always go back. It’s a bedrock of the community and I am just proud to be associated with it. They do so many good things for so many people," said Tannenbaum.

If you would like to support youth development and the YMCA, click here or visit ymcaspbc.org

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