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The kid was screaming in agony. The 235 lb. football player’s knee had been dislocated, and his pain was audible. Luckily a doctor was in the stands, the young man helped to his feet, and everyone blew a sigh of relief.

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While the player was down the visiting team took the time to prep for a trick play. While everyone else waited to see the outcome of the athlete’s knee and his imminent escort from the field, the visiting team took the time stake out a trick play to get them closer to the next first down.

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The home team still reeling from the injury to the fellow player never expected that the visitor would try to draw them offsides and get the first down. A loud “Hike” from the QB and no one on the offense moved…but the defense did. It made me ask myself: Good coaching? Good play? Perhaps even good timing? But, was it poor sportsmanship? Did I mention that the game was already visitors 36 to the home team’s 7???

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The game ended with the home team’s of loss 41-7. I wondered about the young man I’d come to see. As the two teams met in the middle of the field to give the obligatory “good job” to the other team, I wondered how this young man would conduct himself. Just the week before, although he wanted to give a fellow player a “Hi 5” and a “good job” on a hit, he refrained because the opposing player was hurt on the play. Class.

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After giving a “Hi 5” to all the opposing players, he (a Corner/Wide Receiver) sprinted over to the line judge to shake his hand and say thank you. He was the only one. Fifty-five other young men were standing on the field, 20 coaches and support staff, one guy went out of his way to express gratitude to others.

I’m grateful for the lesson learned from the visiting coach and the home player. But, between the two men, I hope to be more like the latter.

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