From the world of college football: The Boise State Broncos had only to make one field goal on a cold Reno night to most likely go to the Granddaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl–an extremely rare and prestigious possibility for the Idaho team. Like Gonzaga in the late-90′s NCAA basketball tournament, this program had emerged onto the national scene as a team that punched above their weight class with meager resources. While the Broncos had already won two prestigious major bowl games in the past few years, this made field goal would send Boise into a rarified level in college football history; not just anybody gets to play in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. The little-team-that-could even make an argument for playing for the national title with this one made field goal.
Yet it was not to be. Off the foot of senior Kyle Brotzman, the highest scoring player among active players in the NCAA, the leading scorer in Boise State history, the ball sailed outside of the uprights. It would be bad enough had that miss lost Boise the game, but cruelly, the game went into overtime where Brotzman would miss another field goal to let rival Nevada kick one of their own successfully. Boise’s season was essentially over, and they tumbled down in national rankings and bowl possibilities.
And ESPN broadcast it to the nation.
Most likely, you’re biggest failure has not been broadcast on national television. Luckily, we can wallow in our self-pity and self-hatred in the privacy of our own bedrooms, offices and restrooms and not have to be reminded of our failure on sports highlight shows for days.
But the outpouring of support for Brotzman has been significant. Even a week later, the Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman Facebook page has thousands of encouraging posts for Brotzman and over 44,000 fans. In the ESPN report below, team leader and quarterback Kellen Moore refuses to place blame on Brotzman. While it won’t bring back the field goal, the support from his fans and his teammates has got to help Brotzman through this difficult time of disappointment and regret in his life.
The lesson? Even private failings are for Christians to be handled in community. The feelings of helplessness and uselessness can be extremely powerful in the afterglow of failure; a circle of trusted friends can help to support and offer encouragement that one cannot get on his own. Even Jesus surrounded himself with friends and supporters. Why do we think we can go it alone?
The missed field goals cannot be replaced for Kyle Brotzman no matter how many people encourage him. But the encouragement and support makes it possible for him to ignore those who called for him–the best kicker in school history–to quit. And it made it possible for him to make his next kick–which he did, and the five after it–during 50-14 win against Utah State on Saturday.
This week, find some Bronco Nation love and support for when you miss a goal.