Posted by: Dal Watson | January 17, 2010

Colt McCoy is a Class Act in so many ways!!!:

Like many of you, I watched the recent National Championship Game between the University of Texas and Alabama expecting one thing and seeing something altogether different in so many ways. I guess that could be said of many sporting events, but for some reason I’ll always remember this game for what did NOT happen as much as what did happen. Much of America wanted to see Colt McCoy come back from his injury very early in the game and be O.K. to compete for his lifelong dream and then let the chips fall where they may. We obviously didn’t see that, but instead saw a true-freshman, backup quarterback come into the game and give it his all and, surprisingly to me, be two or three plays away from winning the National Championship anyway.

First let me rewind the tape a little bit for you from my own personal perspective. A year or so ago, a friend of my son and his father invited my son and me to go hear Colt and Brad McCoy speak at a local “Promise Keeper’s” Rally. As a Texas Tech graduate, I must admit, I went with somewhat mixed emotions. When I walked away that night though, I decided that I’d always be a Colt McCoy fan 364 days a year and then not so much the one day each fall that he plays my Red Raiders. Colt was so well spoken that night and I’ve watched him ever since, on and off the field, and how he handles himself with such grace and integrity. So very much was expected of this young man in the 2009 season…from a Heisman Trophy to an undefeated season and a National Championship. There are very few people his age that have had that much pressure on them and handled it so very well.

As a father of two young sons who absolutely love many sports, I’m always on the lookout, in fact hungry, for good role models that I can point my boys towards. Not just a role model on our favorite teams, but individuals that give genuine honor and glory to God, the creator and sustainer of life itself. Colt has continually embodied that and when I heard his father speak that same night as well, I knew where Colt got much of what I admire in him.

The older I get, the less I am a fan of teams, and the more I am a fan of individual athletes that stand for things that they and I mutually believe in. Some of those athletes include Kurt Warner, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Baron Batch, Stephen McGee, and yes, Colt McCoy. The list could go on and on, but those are just a few of the examples of the young men who pop into my mind at this moment. Not only do they give glory to God in front of the TV cameras, their lives embody their on-camera quotes consistently off the field where it really matters to give life to their on-air comments. Are they perfect; no; that’s not possible. Will they make mistakes in their lives that would disappoint me and others (as well as themselves) later; sure. But they are willing to admit in front of millions that their gifts, talents and abilities are from someone greater than they, and they do so with great humility. To each of these young men and the hundreds and thousands of other athletes that are like them now, or aspire to be like them one day, this dad says thanks to each of you on behalf of other dads and their sons around the world. May God truly bless each of you for showing yourself faithful.

Having said all that, I want to move on to the inspiration for writing this blog post. Below is an e-mail that one of my friends read to us today in our student Bible study class that we lead together, and I was so stirred by what I heard, I felt compelled to share it with you here in this post. Please watch the following 90 second YouTube clip as the setting for the e-mail below. For me, knowing all that led up to this interview and reviewing it again in my mind as I heard this e-mail below being read aloud, Colt’s National Championship post-game comments is one of the most powerful interviews in the history of sports for so many reasons. The clip is owned by ESPN and I found it searching on YouTube today in preparation for writing this blog post. I hope ESPN will allow it to remain on YouTube forever. So watch this video and then read the e-mail below. I hope that it moves you as much as it has moved me. And like the old hymn says, “To God Be The Glory, Great Things HE Has Done.”

Below, an e-mail passed along from a friend of a friend of a friend….

“I have to share with you all our experience last night and bear with me, this email could get pretty long. Tom and I had the amazing privilege of hearing Coach Brad McCoy (Colt’s dad) speak at the Regents’ fall sports banquet. He had been the scheduled speaker for months – who knew that he would come to us after the three hardest weeks of his life. He has coached for 26 years, won 4 state championships and has or is raising his three sons to be Godly leaders, with humble servant hearts. He confessed to us that he speaks all the time on growing leaders and on the importance of sports, football in particular, to learning life’s lessons. He also said that he had to change his talk for the night in light of what happened to Colt Thursday night.

He apologized for what could sound like rambling and for having to talk about his son more than he might usually, but he said he had to share with us how he saw God in all of this. Coach McCoy began his talk telling us of God’s hand in the story of how Colt and Jordan Shipley came to live in the back house of one of our Regents’ families and that was very funny and entertaining. He wanted to thank the Andersons, who were there, for providing his son with a safe home and he wanted to honor for them for who they have been in Colt’s life (they hate to be publicly thanked like this but he thought it appropriate since they were part of the Regents’ family).

I’ll share this story with you later because it’s what else he talked about that was so amazing. He told us that three weeks ago his high school football team (that he coaches), his youngest son is a senior on it, lost the state championship by 1 point because their kicker flaked out, they had to go for two with no time left on the clock and lost 13-12. Then he and his wife joined Colt in New York for the Heisman Ceremony which did not go as well as they could have hoped. Then they get to Pasadena for the biggest game in Colt’s life, one he has been preparing for all of his life – and he plays for three plays.

He told us that as soon as Colt went down he began to pray that God would enable him to continue playing, he prayed for healing and for Colt’s heart and attitude. He finally made his way down under the stadium, praying the whole way, hoping to see Colt sitting up and putting his pads back on and heading back out the tunnel. Instead, he saw him laying prone on a trainer’s table, no pads, and a tear on his face. Colt looked up at him and said “Dad, I had them – I knew everything they were going to do before they did it – I could have completed every pass I threw – I could see everything and I know we could have won this game.” Brad told God that Colt could have his arm! Later, Colt got up and wanted to try and throw a little, just in case he had been miraculously healed and Coach McCoy said all he could think of was when Colt was 3 or 4 and they would throw in the front yard – he could see that little boy in this big ol’ quarterback and it broke his heart to watch him throw as if he was using the wrong hand, like he had to think of every step and where should his hand even be. When everyone finally decided he was not playing, Colt refused to let them put his arm in a sling, he put his pads back on and asked for a headset so he could help with the plays and help the new quarterback. All through this, Coach McCoy was dealing with lots of emotions and he told us he was pretty angry with God and God finally told him “Colt is fine, it is you that needs some help.”

He said that God shared that with him over and over all through the night – like when the game finally turned around and the crowd was chanting “Gilbert…Gilbert” and he was so struck by the fact that this should have been Colt’s stage. He just shared with us the hurts of a father who could do absolutely nothing to help his son and how God helped him to realize that Colt would make it, that it was Coach McCoy who needed God’s strength at the moment. He told us his phone blew up from all the texts and messages after Colt spoke at the end of the game and that he didn’t hear what Colt said until Saturday morning. He did ask Colt later that night, around 3:00 a.m., what he said because he was getting all these calls about it and Colt said, “Dad, I don’t remember, I have no idea.” Coach McCoy believes God spoke through Colt Thursday night. He also told us that Colt set out to impact the world through football at UT and he firmly believes he did that by what he said after the game in a way that Colt could never have done, even by winning the championship.

He asked us to pray for Colt, not for his shoulder, because that is already getting better, but for his broken heart. He also shared with us that a non-believer who had heard Colt speak after the game recognized Coach McCoy and asked him about what he (Colt) said. Coach said he had an amazing opportunity to explain “The Rock” to this person and to witness to him. Then – he said he likes to sing some and apologized because he might not make it through the song, but he sang for us the song about “…on (Christ the) solid rock I stand – all other ground is sinking sand…” Anyway, it was an amazing night and I have to think we are probably the only community Coach McCoy has shared any of this with – what a story and what a privilege.

He also shared with us his and his wife’s philosophy on raising kids and it’s that you prepare the child for the path, not try to prepare the path for the child – and this was something in Colt’s path and his faith would see him through. I have never been to a sports banquet where I cried and laughed so much – he is a great speaker and was so honest and transparent – his hurt for his son and his joy and pride in his son were so evident. He also told us that he got a call from a NFL general manager yesterday who told him that what Colt said after the game just raised his stock with the NFL immensely, because if you want someone to be the face of your franchise, that is what you want their face to look like. Anyway, sounds like Colt is the real deal, which is what I have thought all along. I still can’t claim to be a UT fan, but I will always be a Colt McCoy fan!!!”


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