How I helped Auburn’s Nick Marshall win the Georgia game?

Auburn

I am an Alabama fan.  This was my first game in Jordan Hare stadium.  This is a story about my part in making the miracle catch happen….no seriously I had a part…And I am sticking to my story.

I was dressed in Georgia Red and Black.  I came as a Georgia fan because before the season I promised Mark Richt that if he would endorse my new book, “The Power of Humility, The Secret to Being Happy,” that I would go to the SEC championship game and root for Georgia against Alabama.

Georgia wasn’t going to make it to the SEC championship this year, So I decided the Georgia and Auburn game would be the next best thing and a way to pay my respect for Mark Richt.

It was also Chandler Moseley’s twenty first birthday.  It has become our tradition to celebrate his day by going to a game.  Last year we went to see La Tech play Utah, because our mutual friend Rob Likens was the assistant head coach there.

Chandler, my little brother through Big Brothers Big Sisters, is a sophomore at Faulkner University majoring in Biblical studies.  He is there only because of his guidance counselor at Mars Hill Bible School in Florence, AL and other generous people who recognized that he was good ground for an investment.  He fortunately was able to gather 100% of tuition and scholarships for a college education.

Chandler is turning out to be a very resourceful young man and not only does he go to school full time, but he also works in admissions at Faulkner and is Chaplin for the Student Association.  His resourcefulness doesn’t stop there either.  He gets up early on Saturday mornings and combs the neighborhood for yard sale deals.  He then puts his finds on Craig’s list and ebay and turns a profit that he uses for spending money.  Chandler does not and never has been able to waste money.

I am but one of many role models in Chandler’s life, but I take my responsibility seriously.  I want him to be able to have some positive takeaways from the actions that he sees me take.

Chandler does not have the financial advantages I had growing up.  That is not all bad either.  My goal is help him be independent.  To help him feel he has options.  To demonstrate to him that he is not financially powerless or needs to wait for someone to help him. To reinforce to him that he can help himself.  Hopefully he will teach others how to survive and be resourceful too.

The tickets for the Auburn Georgia game were going for $150 to $300 a piece.  I didn’t want to give that much for them and that was an awful lot of money for Chandler to see me spend on tickets.  I did not want him to think that I would be ridiculous and irresponsible for what I would pay for a ticket.

Economic Lesson 1:  I don’t want him to make irresponsible purchases. 

I gave Chandler $100 dollars to buy two tickets and we split up, each standing on a different street corner.  After about 30 minutes and only laughs and scowls at our offer I motioned for Chandler to huddle and I told him I was willing to double my offer, which was more than I wanted to pay and would be my top offer.

Economic Lesson 2:  In the marketplace you do have to have some flexibility.

Economic lesson 3: You have to be willing to walk away from a deal if the deal doesn’t make good financial sense.

Economic Lesson 4: The face value of a ticket has nothing to do with the value of the ticket once it sold.  It could double in price or be a tenth of its original face value. Prices can fluctuate wildly till the time comes when they are worthless.

We both stood at our street corners for another two hours trying to buy two ticket.  I had a lot of time to think over the next two hours as I stood on the street corner like a beggar.  I had time to pray too and I prayed, “Father, would you make something happen today that will make this day extra special… something really great for Chandler.”

As I held my two fingers high in the air, I did feel like a beggar and at first felt ashamed, even though I had a roll of money in my pocket.  This shame is how a beggar must feel I thought to myself.

I stood on the corner and on the other side of the street a hundred people would gather before the light would turn.  Then they would all come and walk in my direction.  Me alone on the sidewalk and my two fingers that felt like a sign reading “Will work for food.”

At first I was embarrassed to look at the crowd because I was a beggar.  Then I thought about it and said to myself, “ I want to know how a beggar feels.”  And I thought the beggar must feel ashamed and doesn’t want to look at the crowd and the crowd doesn’t want to feel compassion or disgust, so they don’t look at the beggar.

The longer I stood there and thought about all the beggars I have encountered, I remembered that many beggars do want to look at the crowd.  They want to catch the compassionate eye, for it is those people who are the truly great among us and the beggar knows it and depends on them.

I then became intent upon seeing who would make eye contact with me.  To embrace being the beggar and feel how he feels and to catch the compassionate eye.

As they passed I would try to make eye contact with someone.  One out of fifty would look at me while the rest would avert their gaze.  The one who would catch my eyes would usually smile and look at me with a type of compassion for my situation.

Economic lesson number 5:  Interesting things happen to prices of a commodity when it gets near its spoiling point which was in our case game time.  People who have been holding out for a higher price get nervous and begin to look to unload it hoping now that they won’t get caught with a worthless ticket by waiting too late. 

Five minutes before kickoff a couple walked by and saw my two fingers.  “How much will you give,” he asked.

“$100 each,” I said.

“Sounds like a good price. I will take it.”

I knew that I could still resell them for $300 and ask Chandler is he had rather take $150 and go watch the game with the tailgaters.  As I suspected, he said, “absolutely.”

Economic lesson number 6:  Money is not as important as the experience that we could have together at the game. 

“Forget it, we are going in the game,” I said.

We were in the North end zone up high with a great view of the field.  Auburn dominated the first half. It was a lousy lop sided game.  Georgia’s offense was inept.  Auburn was playing like a well oiled machine.  Chandler looked at me at half and said, “This game is not worth $100.”

I said, “You just hold on, this is going to end up being one of Auburn and Georgia’s all time epic games.”  I have no idea why I said that because it certainly didn’t feel like it would become that.  Maybe I was remembering my prayer.

In the fourth quarter,  the momentum shifted to Georgia and with a minute left Georgia goes ahead by one point.  All around us Auburn fans were in total disbelief.  Some were furious, others were dumbstruck.  One had big tears streaming down her face.

Auburn receives the kickoff. Georgia stops them three plays in a row and on fourth and eighteen from their own 20 Nick Marshall throws up a prayer and if the defender doesn’t touch the ball it lands incomplete.

Everyone knows the miracle that happened next and Auburn’s receiver prances into the end zone making the game one of the most dramatic and epic games ever.

It wasn’t till I was on my way out of the game when I remembered my prayer…  I was reminded again that God cares about the little stuff for his little ones.

On Sunday I drove back to the Shoals from Montgomery where I spent the night.  Near sundown, I passed through Moulton.  The sky looked like like a nasty night was ahead.  As I drove I glanced over at a determined man marching ahead on the side of the road.  He had on a red balloon coat, gloves, a camo backpack and military issue boots.

I felt a tinge of compassion for him as I knew there were miles before the next town and eminent rain.  I turned the car around and decided to take the risk of picking up a road walker.  The fact that he was not trying to hitch a ride and the determination of his gate influenced my decision.

“Where are you going?”

“Muscle Shoals.”

“I am going that way. Would you like a ride.”

“Yes I would,” as he climbed in.

“Where did you start walking?”

“Morrison, Tennessee.”

“Why are you going to Muscle Shoals?”

“Pick up my CDL.  I had all my identification stolen.  It’s crazy trying to get it all straightened out. “

“My name is Clay,” as I extended my hand.

“My name is Dennis. “

“Are you from Tennessee?”

“No, I lived there before I deployed.”

“Where did you deploy?”

“Iraq?”

“When did you get back?”

“I don’t think I have gotten back yet?”

We drove in silence for a while in case he wanted to elaborate on that.  He didn’t elaborate.  He did tell me he was camping and that he had a water resistant blanket in his pack.  We finally arrived at the State Troopers office where I believed he would be able to get a CDL.

He said, “I think we passed a McDonald’s a while back.  Do you mind taking me back there?”

“Sure,” I said.

When I let him out he said, “Thank you very much for the ride.  Do you have a couple of dollars.”

“Sure,” I said and pulled three loose dollars out of my console.

“Thank you Clay,” he said.

“You’re welcome,” I said as he shut the door.

As I pulled away I thought, “You cheap-skate. Didn’t you learn anything yesterday? You had a real opportunity to be compassionate.  He can’t eat on three dollars.”

I drove around McDonalds and pulled into a parking spot.  I took out a twenty and opened the door and called to Dennis.

He walked over and I handed him the twenty and said, “You may get hungry in the morning.”

He looked at me and oddly enough the look of compassion was on his face this time as he said, “Bless you man.”

  • I absolutely love your blog.. Great colors
    & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my
    own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
    Many thanks!

    • claiborne.mize@gmail.com

      Thank you. Yes, I developed the site myself. This is the Genesis Theme and I have really enjoyed it. It is simple and easy to follow I think.

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