Pro Football Player Experiences his Glory Days

Richard Laususe, St. Louis, MO

More than half of Americans today are football fans and five million+ kids are estimated to play the game. Just go past a sports bar on any Sunday afternoon in November to quickly understand the passion that so many people have for football.

Many young boys dream of going pro but very few have what it takes. Richard Laususe, now a patient for Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, was one of the rare young men who had the strength, speed, size, and determination – the right ‘stuff’ – to make it to the bigtime.

Richard played semi-pro football for more than a decade for the Racine Raiders out of Wisconsin. The Racine Raiders is a Mid-States Football League team founded in 1953 and is the oldest semi-pro football team still operating. These days, Richard is sidelined with severe COPD. With little time left on the clock, Richard desperately wanted to get back out on the field. Thanks to Crossroads, he did.

A brilliant sun rose as Richard set out for The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis. The 87-year-old former linebacker was nearly shaking with childlike excitement, knowing he was about to watch the St. Louis Battlehawks take on the Seattle Dragons, live, in the newly formed XFL league football game.

The modern AstroTurf and helmeted players lined up in formation, looking much different than when Richard played but still triggering palpable memories. He could smell the pigskin and feel the energy. 

Richard stood proudly during the singing of the National Anthem and then never took his eyes off the game from kick-off to final whistle. He enjoyed front-row seats, wearing a new Battlehawks shirt and noshing on stadium favorites – pausing only to joke with other fans about how ‘he could do better.’ 

On the ride home, Richard reminisced with more animation and joy than his chaplain had ever seen. His passion was ignited once more, reminding his heart that he still has what it takes. Touchdown.