I always write my own blog posts, but this article is too good not to post:
Colt McCoy: a national champion with or without the crystal trophy
By Dr. Scott Elliott / guest columnist
January 10, 2010 12:19 am
– “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”
With apologies to our understandably proud and jubilant Crimson Tide faithful, the University of Alabama, to me, wasn’t the biggest winner in Thursday night’s BCS national championship football game.
That distinction went to a young man from Tuscola, Texas, named Colt McCoy.
Colt McCoy! Are you crazy, you say?
Yes, Colt McCoy, the Longhorns’ All-American quarterback who suffered an injury on the game’s opening drive, knocking him out of the remainder of the contest. The same Colt McCoy who won more games as a starting quarterback than anyone in the history of NCAA Division I football.
Yet, you may ask, how in the world can you argue that Colt McCoy was the game’s biggest winner? After all, he hardly even played.
In reply, I would reference the young man’s post-game interview before millions upon millions of people who watched the nationally-televised matchup. The reporter asked McCoy, “How did you feel, watching the game from the sidelines?”
Smarting from a shoulder injury that numbed his cannon-like throwing arm after being hit by Alabama’s Marcell Dareus, McCoy kind of gazed up in the night sky, cleared his throat a couple of times trying to fight back emotion, and couldn’t really respond for five or six seconds. Finally, the recipient of the prestigious Maxwell Award acknowledged that “it was unfortunate that I didn’t get to play” and that he “would have given everything I had to be out there with my teammates.” He then congratulated Alabama and later called the Tide “a tremendous football team.”
But what he said next was the real clincher. Still makes me a little misty-eyed. He told the interviewer, “I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. I know God is in control of my life, and I also know, if nothing else, that I’m standing on the rock.”
Now, folks, let’s think about the profound nature of that response. Here’s a kid who always seemed destined to play in that national championship game. My goodness, with a name like Colt McCoy, he was born to be the gunslinging quarterback of the fabled Burnt Orange. His entire experience playing junior high, high school, and college football had been vested toward Thursday night, Jan. 7, 2010, in Pasadena, California’s Rose Bowl.
And he got to play one ill-fated series. One.
Now, the 6-2, 210-pound Heisman finalist completed over 70 percent of his passes and threw for 112 touchdowns and 13,253 yards in his storied college career. Just phenomenal. Those accomplishments aside, in his post-game interview, the Longhorn quarterback hurled the most important scoring pass of his life – a real “Hail, Mary,” if there ever was one. Despite his obvious and deep disappointment, Colt McCoy came through like a true champion for his God, giving praise and thanks even in bitter defeat. Notwithstanding religion, he taught the nation a lesson in class and humility.
You know, as all of us progress through this life, we experience what some call “defining moments.” It’s those crossroads episodes that establish, for good or bad, whatever legacy we leave on this Earth. Most of us will never have a national television audience, like Colt McCoy, when our defining moments come, but I have a feeling, in God’s eyes, that a street corner ministering to just one other human being might do.
Colt McCoy may never become a star in the National Football League, although I suspect he will. Nonetheless, in this age of professional athletes having well-publicized extra-marital affairs, brandishing guns in locker rooms, lying to grand juries, and using performance-enhancing drugs, Colt McCoy is a star on a stage far transcending any football field. No, he never got to hold that coveted crystal trophy, but Thursday night he made a resounding statement to the youth of America about what it really means to be a winner.
And I know God will continue to bless him for that.
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