Thursday, January 05, 2006

Coming up Roses

Rose Bowl MVP Vince Young

Wow, what a college football game that was last night. As a sports addict, I consider collegiate pigskin as one of my least favorite passions, but last night defined almost every single reason why we follow sports. Personally, I didn’t think Texas had a shot in hell. USC had too many weapons: Leinart, Bush, White, Jarrett, plus the experience to go with it. I foresaw a double-digit victory for the Trojans. But what I severely underestimated was the outstanding prowess of Vince Young. I don’t care if you’re only a basketball fan, what he did last night could make even the average spectator wallow in disbelief. It was the storybook ending; down by 12, 6 minutes to go, up against the defending National Champs—a team looking for their third straight title and 35th victory in a row. With such an overwhelming deficit at hand, most of you probably said screw it and turned off the television and went to bed. Boy, did you miss out.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in sports it’s that the game is NEVER over no matter what the deficit may be. And around midnight in Pasadena, everyone on that Texas sideline was thinking that same exact thing. That especially holds true for Young, who just so happened to jump 87 slots in my favorite player list and now sits comfortably in the top 10 next to Rodney Hampton. You see, there are some things you can teach in sports: how to throw, read coverages, avoid a sack, etc. But a passion to win is one of those intangibles that can never be taught. Either you have it, or you don’t, and Young certainly has it. Did you see the Texas QB right after he scored the game-winning TD? He wasn’t beside himself, Chad Johnson-esque, jumping for joy in utter disbelief. He knew how this thing was going to play out all along. With the deficit at 38-26, there he was on the sidelines with one of those “Shiiiiit, down 12 with 6 minutes left, that’s plenty of time” faces on. And that’s exactly the same swagger he brought onto the field into the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Since he last set foot on that Rose Bowl field, Young managed to capture the hearts of millions of Texas fans and give them a reason to look forward to last night. He came into the season prepared, ready to lead this team to glory no matter who got in his way. And with that attitude he managed to accomplish all of his goals and walk off the field with a National Championship. Finally, millions of fans throughout the country finally got to see what Mr. Young was all about. It wasn’t just about his superb running skills or accuracy with his arm, it was about his improbable will to win. Hell, he took the entire state of Texas on his back and led them to glory over the immortal USC Trojans. There’s no bigger accomplishment in the sporting world, right? Perhaps, but there is a mission out there that goes much deeper than just the game of football. Three months from now when Vince Young is handed the reigns of the New Orleans Saints, not only will he be asked to save a dying franchise, but also to breathe life into a dying city. Now I know Young is just a football player. He isn’t God and can’t make everyone’s sorrows suddenly disappear. But, if he can do what he did last night every Sunday for the next ten years or so, maybe, just maybe he can help the people of New Orleans start to believe in themselves. Maybe he can do it, maybe he can’t. But from what I witnessed last night I don’t think there’s any athlete on the planet better suited to at least give it a try than Mr. Vince Young.


At 3:53 PM, Blogger Ryan Kinkade said...

I've been telling my friends at USC since about week 3 of this college football season that USC would meet it's demise against Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns. I'm glad that man proved me right. What a game... damn!

At 9:10 PM, Blogger Will Shu said...

augh my mom made me sleep with 4 min left in the 4th quarter. oh well. this is like the only team in texas im proud of


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