The audience was a group of first-graders, but the message spoke to the 25-year-old man at the head of the class.
Tuesday, Packers offensive lineman Mark Tauscher read stories to student groups at Pioneer Elementary School in Ashwaubenon, Wis., in support of the Read Across America campaign.
One of the books told the tale of a soccer-playing frog that overcomes several mistakes and eventually scores a game-winning goal for his team.
With great enthusiasm, Tauscher read the book to the students and then asked what they learned from the story.
One first-grader identified the moral perfectly: that perseverance pays off.
An appropriate message for people of all ages, it was especially fitting for Tauscher, who is in the midst of rehabbing a devastating knee injury that ended his 2002 season only two games into the schedule.
But Tauscher isn't a stranger to effort and determination. As he explained to the kids at Pioneer Elementary, it was perseverance that got him to Green Bay in the first place.
"I can remember about 17 or 18 years ago I was sitting in a class about like this and we were reading books," Tauscher said. "At that time I wasn't a very good reader ... so I was put in the lowest reading group.
"But what happened was I worked with my parents and my teachers and did extra reading and by the second grade I got moved into the second group. By the third grade I was in the first reading group, which was the best."
By the time he was in fourth grade, Tauscher said he unknowingly began his quest to be an NFL lineman thanks to a Pizza Hut program that encouraged reading by offering free pizzas.
Explained the 6-foot-4, 320-pound Tauscher: "Every time I read four books I got a free pizza. So I read a lot of books and I ate a lot of pizza and that's how I got to be as big as I am."
Tauscher also told the story of his experience playing college football at the University of Wisconsin, where after joining the team as a walk-on he didn't get an opportunity to be a regular starter until his senior year.
"I was very frustrated because I never got to go out on the field and play, but I stuck with it and by my fourth year I got a chance," Tauscher said. "If I wouldn't have stuck with it, I wouldn't be in Green Bay right now."
And a roomful of kids wouldn't have learned such a valuable lesson from such an outstanding role model.