The average High School teacher in the state of Texas makes $52,000 a year.
The average High School football coach in the state of Texas makes $90,000 a year.
Mixed up priorities?
Perhaps, but the point is that football in Texas is a huge deal. Entire community identities are wrapped up in the local team and it is not uncommon for High School games to bring upwards of 30,000 fans.
Expectations, hype and budgets only ratchet for the college game where Mack Brown and the Lonhorns rule the Lone Star state, second in popularity only to comically large belt buckles.
Imagine then the hype that surrounded the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. The Longhorns were visiting Pasadena seeking their fifth national title off of a perfect 12-0 season. Only SEC powerhouse Alabama and Nick
Satan Saban stood in their way.
But no worries, the Longhorns had plenty of reason for confidence, none greater than Senior QB Colt McCoy, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. He’d QBed the team to 45 wins in his career and only needed one more for Longhorn immortality.
The stars were aligned and McCoy was at the center.
Everything he had worked for since High School was right in front of him on the biggest stage in college football. Rose Bowl stadium would prove the countless hours in the weight room, watching tape and running drills worthwhile. A national title, a lucrative NFL contract and successful career awaited the Lone Star native.
And it all lasted exactly five plays.
On Texas’ fifth play from scrimmage McCoy broke the pocket working his way into the red zone when suddenly he was drilled hard in his side and down he went. Injured and numb, his throwing arm limp at his side, he grimaced and walked to the sideline– a pinched nerve ending his game, possibly his career, and ultimately any Longhorn chance for victory.
Can you imagine what that must have felt like?
You have finally reached college football Vallhalla, playing the game you’ve spent a lifetime preparing for when suddenly it is taken from you. Your college career ended in an instant, and your once certain NFL future suddenly in jeopardy.
Think about yourself at 23 years old. How would you have dealt with that? You’ve known nothing but football, and it all just came crashing down. Worse yet you have to sit by helplessly as your backup struggles for three plus quarters and your team succumbs.
How does that work?
What might you have said if some intrepid reporter shoved a mic in front of you after the game?
That’s where the story gets interesting. Watch the video, you might be surprised.
Not a single expletive? No crack-back on the reporter for asking a stupid question? No animosity toward ‘bama? Just congratulations to the victors, words of encouragement to his backup and a shout out to his heavenly father?
To paraphrase McCoy, “Bring it on God. It was a tough day but if this is what You’ve got for me, I am ready for this and more.”
Had he known the “more” would mean getting drafted by the Browns, he may have re-phrased it, but still. This is remarkable maturity for a college kid.
Remarkable maturity for anyone.
And while we can easily sit back and say that a football game is just that, and there are far worse burdens to bear, we are not 23 and didn’t grow up in Texas.
I hope I can always give God the glory and someday I too can stand on that rock.
- How will you react to hardship?
- Do you “give God the glory?”
- What does that look like in practice?
- What other leaders or historical figures provide a good example for us?