Yesterday, when I got to school, our athletics secretary had emailed everyone the links to two stories about something that happened a week ago at our home football game. A senior on the team, who has been involved with football since his freshman year, but never played one minute, got a chance to run the ball in for a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the game. This morning, our local NBC affiliate, even, had a story about it.
What makes this story really great, in a sea of stories I've seen like this in the last few months, is that the visiting team, Nevada Union, has had a losing season, and was down to our playoff-bound team 49-7. But they absolutely agreed to let Travis score, to give a kid with special needs a chance to do something really special in front of his home crowd.
That is what sports are about, people. Teamwork.
In the video, it's so amazing to watch both teams--even a disheartened team that has had such a miserable season--run after Travis, cheering him on, letting him have his moment. It shows great class, and it shows me that the Nevada Union coach is teaching his team much greater lessons than just the mechanics of football.
The video on this link is longer, and shows the reaction after the play, as the team and coaches swarmed the endzone to congratulate Travis. At 1:25 in the video, you even see a white-haired man in a black parka offer a high-five to Travis. That's our principal. Was this play a Big Deal for our school? You bet it was.
It was an even bigger deal for one young man who has spent four years being the loudest supporter of his teammates.
Of course, as I read the articles yesterday, I immediately teared up, and grinned at my computer. But class was about to start, and I had a lot to accomplish with choir, so thoughts of Travis were pushed to the back of my mind.
When choir was finished, I sat down at my desk and piked up my phone to check in on Facebook. There, I found many links to the story of Batkid, and I very nearly burst in to tears right there at my desk. A few choir kids lingered in my room, and I went out and told them, "Turns out San Francisco has been taken over today by the Riddler and the Penguin. But don't worry, Batkid is there to save everyone!" When I explained that it was a Make-A-Wish even, a chorus of "Awwww" rose up--even from some of the boys!
It's stories like these that maintain my faith in humanity. I still maintain that "the kids are alright," even as the world seems to get crazier and crazier around us.
Today, I'm thankful for the happy stories.