Thanks to one of my good friends and co-workers, I was informed of a moment in high school football in Missouri that makes us all sit back and remember that football is just a game, and not some battlefield where a war takes place every Saturday and Sunday throughout the fall.
In a freshman football game in St. Jospeh, Missouri, just outside of Kansas City, Maryvale High School's freshman team was up 46-0 over Benton High School. With 10 seconds left in the game, Benton's coach put it one of his freshman running backs, Matt Ziesel for the final play of the game. Matt has down syndrome and never gets a chance to play in any of Benton's football games. One of Benton's coaches walked to the other side of the field to ask Maryvale's coach if they would give up the shutout in order to make this day special for young Matt. Without hesitation, Maryvale's coach informed his players of the situation, and on the ensuing hand-off, Matt Ziesel ran his first rushing attempt for a 60-yard touchdown run. A story like this should make everyone realize that football is a game, enjoyed by people of all ages. People need to take a step back when they are at their tailgates and in their seats this upcoming weekend and appreciate the opportunity that they are at one of America's finest sporting events and not take it for granted. It's fun to have a little trash talk between one another and joke around, but in the end, remember that it is just a game. Remember that there are people like Matt Ziesel that take every moment out on the playing field for everything that it is.
For a link to this story, please go to http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4498494&categoryid=2378529.
Congratulations Matt Ziesel on your first touchdown run!