by Fr Duncan McVicar on 17/06/2012 -
This teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always with the substitutes, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game of football. This young man was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. But 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 older. All through high school the son never missed a practice nor a game. 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 for the college football team. Everyone was sure he could never make it, but he did. The trainer admitted that he kept him on the list because he always puts his heart and soul into every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and enthusiasm they badly needed.The news that he had survived the tests thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent 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 trainer met him with a terrible piece of news. The trainer told him: “I sorry, but your father died this morning. We have just received the news . I am so sorry!” 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. During the second half, 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 teammate back so soon.”Sir, please let me play. I’ve just got to play today,” said the young man. The trainer pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted his worst player in this important game. But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the young man, the trainer gave in. “All right,” he said.”You can play.” Before long, the trainer, 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, and played like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this young man received a brilliant pass and scored the winning goal. The fans broke loose. His teammates 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 trainer noticed that the young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The trainer came to him and said, “Son, 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!”
Happy Father’s Day!
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