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[at-l] off topic : "inspirational piece"


This teenager lived alone with his mother, and the two of them had
a very special relationship.  Even though the son was always on the
his mother was always in the stands cheering. She never missed a game.
This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high
But his mother continued to encourage him but also made it very clear
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 nor a game, but remained a bench warmer all four
His faithful mother 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
cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster
he always puts his heart and soul into every practice, and at the same
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 mother.  His mother shared his
and was sent season tickets for all the college games.  This
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 playoff
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
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
onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see
faithful teammate back so soon. "Coach, please let me play.  I've just
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.
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
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, blocked and tackled
like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied.  In
closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the
for the winning touchdown. The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted
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,
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
He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said,  
"Well, you knew my mom died, but
did you know that my mom was blind?"  The young man swallowed hard and
forced a smile, "Mom came to all my games, but today was the
first time she could see me play, and I wanted to show her I could do

I hope that story inspires you.