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They say that football is a contact sport. Those who’ve actually played the game disagree. Basketball, they say, is a contact sport…football is a collision sport. Football is a tough and strategic game and the difference between winning and losing on any given Sunday often comes down to a thin, undefinable characteristic.

There are no shortage of platitudes in the world of football. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Winers never quit, quitters never win. It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. But the truth is, platitudes alone don’t make great players or great coaches, there is a fine line between greatness and mediocrity.

Over the years, there have been a number of men who managed to separate themselves from the pack. Players and coaches whose names will long be remembered in the annals of football lore. But only a select few managed to transcend the ravages of time and those men wear the mantle of being legendary.

John Heisman began the game in the 19th century and today his name is still synonymous with the word “greatness,” and he is the subject of this week’s Stories of Atlanta.

Lance Russell is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and media communicator who, for over three decades, has been entrusted by clients to tell their stories. A seasoned producer with an innate ability to cut to...

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