Faith in the End Zone
December 24, 2008 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Cheering for the othe side From the story: "They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas. It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through. Did you hear that? The other team's fans?" A feel good story for the holidays.
posted by sierray (34 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Now that was a kind gesture. Pretty cool that the Faith fans went along with it.
posted by HopperFan at 9:45 AM on December 24, 2008


That's a tremendous story. I'm leaving cookies out for Eugene V. Debs tonight.
posted by penduluum at 9:56 AM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn it, you started my day squishy now...
posted by ZaneJ. at 10:00 AM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's really something. If it makes a difference for even one of those kids, it's totally worth it. I hope someday, those kids will be able to look back and say, "They believed in me, and it made the difference. My life turned around that day." The right kind gesture at just the right time can make all the difference for someone, and I hope it's the case here.
posted by explosion at 10:00 AM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Awesome story, great post. I just looked up Kris Hogan on GFC's website, if anyone else would like to send him a note his email can be found here.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:04 AM on December 24, 2008


This would have been harmless glurge if Gainsville State had been what I initially assumed: a program for special needs students. It's so much easier to have compassion for children who are handicapped with easily-identified medical issues. The fact that it's a maximum security juvenile facility moves this into "can't help but cry dammit" territory:

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Some people were naturally confused. One Faith player walked into Hogan's office and asked, "Coach, why are we doing this?"

And Hogan said, "Imagine if you didn't have a home life. Imagine if everybody had pretty much given up on you. Now imagine what it would mean for hundreds of people to suddenly believe in you."

posted by availablelight at 10:37 AM on December 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


This great. Its nice to see news about Christians acting like Christians. God's kingdom really is upside down like this.

Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 26It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’ Matthew 20:25-28
posted by jpdoane at 10:38 AM on December 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


The fact that it's a maximum security juvenile facility moves this into "can't help but cry dammit" territory

Yeah, I'm trying really hard to find a cynical way to think about this--maybe the free bibles? nah, they still got free food, too. Nope, I can't come up with anything.

Sometimes people are just good. Amazing thing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:18 AM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coach Hogan is a hero. So is the coach of correctional facility team. His job can't be easy.
posted by Cranberry at 11:18 AM on December 24, 2008


Aw heck. I grew up with Texas high school football, and I know how cut-throat and nasty it can be...and I was only in the marching band.

Thank you for this story. And thank you to Faith for serving as such a good example.
posted by greekphilosophy at 11:22 AM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


As another Texas high school marching band alumnus, all I can say is, "Damn you! You made me cry!"
posted by ValkoSipuliSuola at 11:33 AM on December 24, 2008


Thank you for posting this. We just decided to put my mother in hospice care and I am in the mood for the 24-Hour-Mawkish-News-All-The-Time channel right now.
posted by Peach at 11:36 AM on December 24, 2008


If that's not nice, I don't know what is.
posted by scody at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


If you told me when I woke up that I'd be getting misty at glurge written by Rick Reilly, I would have laughed in your face and gone back to sleep.

*misty*
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:50 AM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is a story still a glurge if it really happened?
posted by deadmessenger at 11:52 AM on December 24, 2008


Love this story.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:08 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh hell. Now I have faith in humanity again.
posted by gordie at 12:15 PM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dammit, sierray, why you gotta make me cry like that. Scody's got it, but for those who don't know the full quote:

"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'" -Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country
posted by Navelgazer at 12:31 PM on December 24, 2008


Fantstic. Good on Coach Hogan for seizing the opportunity to help some kids who are probably always overlooked if not outright vilified.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:59 PM on December 24, 2008


Another article about the game last month.
posted by scody at 1:19 PM on December 24, 2008


Damn yall. I am crying real tears.

And I grew up in Texas, too. I know what it's like. This doesn't happen - but it does, when the folks involved know what is really important.

Merry Christmas, Mefites, and to everyone.
posted by Xoebe at 1:38 PM on December 24, 2008


From scody's link, these kids "had earned their spots on the team by serving at least half of their sentence, passing their classes and committing no behavior incidents."

Being a teenager in that environment, when all real future prospects have already been practically lost, and doing your part to make sure that you don't fuck up again - that is phenomenal. More and more I want to shake Coach Hogan's hand for his understanding of the kind of encouragement these kids need and deserve.

I'm getting teary again.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:09 PM on December 24, 2008


Wow. What a great little story. Thanks for posting it.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:26 PM on December 24, 2008


I'm crying. Dang, that's the best thing I have read in a very long time...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:31 PM on December 24, 2008


That's the kind of Christianity I like. More of that, please, and less of the judgemental crap.
posted by empath at 3:09 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awesome. See? Fuck the mega-churches and all the hate. If this is what the world saw of Christians day in and day out, even hardened agnostics like me would welcome you with open arms. Thank you.
posted by maxwelton at 3:13 PM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


The cynic in me would say that was an easy gesture knowing thy would win the game regardless. But, it is almost Christmas so I'll join the aw shucks crowd wiping back tears.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:06 PM on December 24, 2008


I think the school should follow this up and offer scholarships to the best of these kids as they get released.
posted by empath at 4:16 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank you. Best Christmas story ever.
posted by chronkite at 4:26 PM on December 24, 2008


From the other article: Their hosts were sending them back to Gainesville with a postgame meal and a bag of goodies that included homemade cookies, a handwritten letter from a Faith player, a Bible and a devotional.

The handwritten letter got me. Bawling.
posted by ColdChef at 6:38 PM on December 24, 2008


There is more good in us than we know. Great job Hogan. Now THAT is a leader.
posted by jcworth at 9:10 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just put myself in the shoes of a Gainesville player.

Wow, time to count my blessings.
posted by captainsohler at 9:43 PM on December 24, 2008


great story!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 2:47 AM on December 25, 2008


Gainsville State School itself sounds like a remarkably positive setting, and has a well-organised volunteer group that fundraises for the boys, including money to support the sports teams. Maybe they accept paypal.
posted by jacalata at 6:11 AM on December 25, 2008


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