Life is more important than football.
Most people play sports simply because they love the competition. I certainly do.
For example, if you want to see me run, you basically have two options: either put a gun to my head, or a tennis racquet in my hand.
Even when the outcome of the contest has been determined, true competitors never stop playing hard.
Naturally, I’d prefer that you chose the tennis racquet over the gun. I will run to win a point, or if a very large animal is chasing me, but jogging and pleasure are mutually exclusive ideas, in my opinion.
Of course, everybody knows that Georgia plays Alabama in Sanford Stadium this coming Saturday. But we can talk about that contest later, after the game has been played.
Today we need to talk about what happened last Saturday, the tragic accident that occurred in the game against Southern University.
The halftime show by Southern’s renowned marching band was supposed to be the major highlight of the game. And the band was terrific. They put on an incredible show for the crowd in Sanford stadium.
Heck, they were entertaining people on their way inside the stadium.
And somebody forgot to tell Southern’s football team they weren’t supposed to play hard and make the game competitive.
At the intermission the score was only 20-6, in favor of Georgia. The previously unstoppable Bulldog running game had only gained thirty-five yards prior to halftime.
To their credit, Southern’s players never stopped trying to execute their game plan, refusing to play the role of a “cupcake” opponent, even late in the third quarter, after Georgia’s lead became comfortable.
Then the tragedy struck unexpectedly, on a routine play.
While blocking on a kickoff return for the Jaguars, a young man named Devon Gales suffered a very serious spinal injury that required major surgery.
Gales currently remains paralyzed. He has transferred from Athens transferring to the Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta for specialized medical care.
This young man from Louisiana was just trying to make a clean, solid football play on the field. The player from UGA that he was trying to block didn’t do anything wrong, either.
One could say that it was simply bad timing, due to an awkward angle and a confluence of unfortunate circumstances. There was no malicious intent on the part of either of the players involved.
And talk is cheap. Talk won’t help Devon Gales — we need to put our money where our mouths are. The Bulldog Nation needs to step up to the plate for this young man, in a big way.
Southern University has set up an official fund to which donations can be made to help this young man and his family with their medical expenses, through this link.
This weekend, 92, 746 fans will pack into Sanford Stadium to watch Georgia play Alabama. Many of these people are paying $350-$400 per ticket to see a football game being shown on national television. By my calculations, if you can afford a ticket to the game, you should be able to give $50 to the Devon Gales medical expenses fund.
Even if you blew all your money on tickets, consider this — you could sell those tickets, donate $100 to the Gales fund, take the wife to dinner, and watch the game for free on TV, like I plan to do.
Of course, I don’t actually have tickets to the game, so it’s really easy for me to suggest that you sell yours. I can’t afford to go to the game…but I can afford to give $50 to this very worthy cause.
Don’t be a cheapskate!
If only 30,000 ticket-holders to the game (not counting students or Alabama fans) gave $50 to the Devon Gales fund, we would raise $1.5 million urgently needed dollars to help this young man face the long and difficult road to recovery, still hundreds of miles from home.
In other words, his family needs every penny we can afford to give so please, give generously.