Story no. 55 – Fathers eyes

A teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. The

father believed in encouragement. 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 the smallest of the class when he entered high school. 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, and perhaps he’d get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he

never missed a practice or 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 the 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 deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, “My father died this morning.

Is it all right if I miss practice today?”

The 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 team-mate 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 man persisted, and 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 team-mates 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!”