The Father's Eyes
This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very
special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his
father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game. This
young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school.
But his father continued to encourage him, but also made it very clear that he
did not have to play football if he didn't want to. But the young man loved
football and decided to hang in there. He was determined to try his best
at every practice, perhaps he'd get to play when he became a senior.
All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but remained
a bench warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands,
always with words of encouragement for him. When the young man went to
college, he decided to try out for the football team as a "walk-on."
Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach
admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and
soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members
with the spirit and hustle they badly needed.
The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to
the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement
and was sent season tickets for all the college games. This persistent young
athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never
got to play in a game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as
he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big play off game, the
coach met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became
silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, "My father died this
morning. Is it all right if I miss practice today?" he coach put his arm
gently around his shoulder and said, "Take the rest of the week off, son.
And don't even plan to come back to the game on Saturday."
Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter,
when the team was ten points behind, a silent young man quietly slipped into
the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the
sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful
teammate back so soon. "Coach, please let me play. I've just got to play
today," said the young man. The coach pretended not to hear him. There was
no way he wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young
Finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. "All right," he said.
"You can go in." Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the
stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never
played before was doing everything right.
The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked and tackled
like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the
closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way
for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His classmates hoisted him
onto their shoulders. Such cheering you've never heard!
Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the
locker room, the coach noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the
corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, "Kid, I can't believe it.
You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?" He looked
at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, "Well, you knew my dad died,
but did you know that my dad was blind?" The young man swallowed hard and
forced a smile, "Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he
could see me play, and I wanted to show him I could do it!"
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