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A Father's Eyes


A teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very
special relationship. The father believed in encouragement. Even though
the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands
cheering. He never missed a game.

This young man was the smallest of the class when he entered high
school. 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 a senior.

All through high school he never missed a practice nor a game, but
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

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 team-mate 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 team-mates 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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