Wednesday, January 10, 2018
ATTENTION: Anyone that works with young athletes - did you notice Jalen Hurts, Alabama’s quarterback who was benched for the second half of Monday’s National Championship Game? His stock went way up in my eyes.
This young man was the leader of his team and the quarterback with an impressive win and loss record. But for some reason on Monday night, he just didn’t have it. His coach, Nick Saban who is paid the big bucks to make these calls, sat his starting QB for the second half. The young freshman, Tua Tagovailoa, was sent out on the field to take over. That young man had the game of his life. He won the game with a 41 yard strike on the last play of the evening.
Instantly, cameras were in Jalen Hurt’s face asking that cruel question, “How do you feel?” He wanted to be the one on the field. He had earned the right to be on the field. He wanted to be the one who threw the game winner.
But character, poise and maturity took over and he knew to think and speak first of his team. What a splendid young man! How many young men would have been unable to celebrate their team’s victory because they weren’t on the field, because they weren’t the MVP?
I don’t know Jalen Hurts at all. But I love to see character, unselfishness and devotion to something bigger than just yourself displayed and celebrated in the eyes of our watching young athletes. Who, by the way, don’t always have lofty examples of honor and integrity.
I expect our coaches in the area will celebrate the great game and skills of the Alabama team. But I hope they will also hold up for praise and emulation, the impressive example of Jalen Hurts – who wasn’t even on the field when the winning touchdown was thrown. Perhaps a young man like that says a lot about why Alabama keeps on winning.
Art Noyes is the executive director of KidsNGolf.
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