I was surfing the Internet and came across this story on ESPN about a young boy fighting cancer who had the opportunity to lead Kentucky’s football team out of the tunnel before their spring game, and it made me think: this is why sports are so important. It’s not about the wins or the losses; it’s not about the championships or defeats. It’s about the lives that are impacted and the people that are inspired because of them.
Sports have had a huge impact on my life. Even though I’ve never been able to play, I’ve grown up watching football, basketball, and everything in between with my family. I love them. I was- and still am- so inspired by former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. I love how strong in his faith he is, I love how he never gives up, and I love how he goes out of his way to brighten someone else’s day. I’ve had the blessing of meeting him and getting to know him, and every time I see him, I’m blown away by how kind and compassionate he is. He’s everything you see on TV and more, and I’m not sure he knows just how much he’s impacted my life.
That’s one of the reasons I loved this article about what the Kentucky football team is doing for Ryan and his family. This is something he’ll remember for the rest of his life; it’s something he’ll lean into and think about when he has a rough day. By visiting him and showing him so much kindness, they’re giving him memories he’ll never forget, and they’re impacting his life in profound ways. They’re using their platform as football players to make a difference, and that is what sports is truly about. Not wins, not losses, not games, not practices, but impacting and inspiring others.