Dad’s Eyes – A True Story

dads eye imageA teenage boy lived alone with his father. The two of them had a very
special relationship. Even though the son was always “warming the
bench”, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never
missed a game. 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.

The son 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 but still remained a bench warmer all four
years. 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 out for the
football team as a “walk-on.” Everyone was sure he could never make
the cut, but he did. The coach admitted that he kept him on the roster
because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice and, at
the same time, 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 father. His father shared
his excitement and was sent season 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 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 father
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 ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were
astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon.

“Coach, please let me play. I’ve just got 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. But 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 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, blocked and tackled like a star. His team
began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of
the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the
winning touchdown!

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
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 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!”

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