My main alliances, when it comes to collegiate sports, center on my alma mater (Northern Illinois University) and the universities my two daughters attended and finished out their respective sports careers (Marquette University and the University of Louisville). Other than that…I pretty much root for the underdog in most competitive sporting events…especially in college football.
However, that was until being introduced to Nick Saban, through a CBS video commentary…and a piece on Coach Saban sent to me by Olympic and National Gymnastics Team Doctor Larry Nassar highlighting him and his philosophy. This information prompted a recent article I wrote, Alabama’s Head Coach Nick Saban Stands a Cut Above the Rest, in early November.
The concepts Saban subscribes to, along with supporting and encouraging them in the athletes under his direction, just seemed to ring true with me. And the successes that have come out of those beliefs…well…those are tough to argue with.
In addition, it goes without saying that any head coach’s foundational principles, the things they want to teach―to bestow upon their “team”…their athletes, are likely channeled through the team’s leader. And in the case of the Crimson Tide…that leadership is logically assumed by their quarterback, AJ McCarron.
Which brings me to the meat of this article.
You see…I am a strong believer, supporter of, any athlete who can demonstrate success…all while holding themselves to a standard of character not seen by enough of our elite level sports competitors. Someone who looks at life a little differently than most…the kind of person who truly can make a difference for others.
And based on a recent “share” on my Facebook page…AJ McCarron seems to be that―and then some:
(Original ESPN Video HERE)
If that video piece doesn’t speak volumes regarding the character and integrity of AJ McCarron…I am not sure what does. It is an act of kindness and friendship that certainly did make a difference for another…something that will NEVER be forgotten by the one who received that kindness…nor by the giver.
It looks to me like McCarron certainly has the potential to become what I refer to as a True Champion…an awesome example for others to follow.
Yes…a championship program, coach and quarterback did fall to a tough foe in the Oklahoma Sooners this past weekend…but they will return. And AJ McCarron…well…my hope is that he carries the traits depicted in that ESPN video piece into all that he does…that he continues to make a difference both on and off the field.
Needless to say, our current sports culture could use more individuals like him…ones grounded in sound character. They set forth good examples for our sporting youth to follow.
Hats off to you AJ McCarron…wishing you all the best!!!