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by Rubel Shelly
Mike Henderson knows from reading The FAX of Life each week that I love stories out of sporting events. But for his work as my research associate, Id have missed one of the best ever! I didnt see the game. I hadnt heard the story.
The Holiday Bowl was played on December 28, 2001. The University of Texas roared back from a 19-point deficit and won 47-43 over Washington in a storybook ending. Texas started its winning drive with only 1:49 left in the fourth quarter and scored with 38 seconds on the clock. And I missed it. Arrrgh!
But the real story of that day, as Dr. Henderson pointed out, was not the game, the score, or the final season rankings. The real story was the quarterback for UT. Not his four-of-five for 75 yards on the final drive. Not his best-ever by a UT quarterback 473 yards and four touchdowns. Not his 44 school records set or tied in his Longhorn career. But his character as revealed by adversity.
Major Applewhite lost his starting quarterback role last year to the talented NFL-prospect Chris Simms. So he had watched most of the plays in every Texas game this season from the sidelines. But Simms had a very sub-par game in the Big 12 Conference title game. Coach Mack Brown put Applewhite in to run the team after Simms committed four turnovers that led to 26 points for Colorado. He passed for 240 yards and two touchdowns in a desperate come-from-behind rally that fell just short. But it earned him a start in the final game of his college career.
Ill bet you get discouraged by career and personal setbacks sometimes too. Stay ready. Keep sharpening your skills. When you get in the game, do what youre there to do without resentment or bitterness. The outcome can be glorious.