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In praise of Colt McCoy

It was a pretty interesting scene at our house last Thursday night. Everyone had gathered to watch the big game between Alabama and Texas. We were all cheering for Alabama with the lone exception being our daughter-in-law --- a second cousin of Texas quarterback, Colt McCoy. She held a more nuanced position. She wanted Alabama to win and Colt to have a good game. Fair enough --- not only diplomatic (and loyal), but there was a decent possibility it would work out exactly that way.

But it didn’t.

A few plays into the game Colt was hurt on a very normal looking play and was done for the night. Just like that, the young man who came back for his senior season to have a chance to lead his team to this game was finished after a cameo appearance.

But this is America, and in our culture when you’re on the big stage they don’t let you off just because circumstances spin out of control and ruin your dreams. In fact, it’s considered prime time. Someone’s going to shove a microphone in your face and want to milk the moment for the entertainment of others. To the young man’s credit, he made no attempt to avoid being interviewed. Perhaps four years of facing fierce pass rushes had steeled him for a time like this.

The interview is here if you haven’t seen it. He talked about his overwhelming desire to play in the game (I would have given everything I had to be out there with my team). He congratulated Alabama (twice). He complemented his team on their play (I love the way our team fought). He complemented the freshman who replaced him in the game. He talked about his faith (I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life and I know that . . . I’m standing on the rock).

There you have it. Twenty-three years old when he is dealt the biggest disappointment in his life on a national stage and he has the poise to say that?

Well, our team won that night. The game itself was less than spectacular. It was almost as if the players on both teams sensed that with Colt out of the game it was something less than what it was supposed to be. Nonetheless, I’ll have a lot of memories from that game. While the years will bleach away many of those moments, I think the one that will always abide with me will be that on a January night in Pasadena, California, a young man from Texas made the greatest play after the game was over and showed the nation what it means to be a champion.
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