The past couple of Saturdays have been a case study in character at the Vanderbilt University football stadium.
My daughter, Hannah, who is a student at VU (Go Dores!) was in attendance at both games.
Two weeks ago, the game came down to the final two plays against the University of Georgia. While the Bulldogs survived a massive scare, the story of the day was what happened on the field after the game. Ugly would be an understatement.
Even in victory, one of the assistant coaches from Georgia came storming across the field, screaming profanities and shaking his fist at the Vandy coach. A brawl almost broke out between the two teams.
As the UGA players left the field they gave the Vandy student section the one finger (not the index) finger salute, screaming f-bombs and taunting them over the victory.
My daughter said it made her ashamed to be from Georgia.
Fast forward one week. Homecoming at Vandy, with Army as the opponent.
Vanderbilt won the game by more than 3 touchdowns, but the Army team, even in defeat, responded in a whole different manner. Character would be an understatement.
After the game the Vanderbilt players came over in front of the Vandy student section and sang the schools Alma Mater. What happened next brought tears to my eyes as Hannah described it to me.
As the Vandy students and players sang together, Hannah said the Army players stood together, at attention, as a sign of respect for the Vanderbilt community.
She said as she looked at those young men, standing respectfully, it made her feel safe that they will be the men who, five years from now, will be protecting and defending her freedom.
As the Army players left the field, she said the Vanderbilt fans began to chant “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.” Can you say chill bumps?
UGA and Army. Two programs. Two different results. Two different reactions.
I don’t know who you root for, but I have become a fan of the boys from West Point.
It is too bad there is not a B.C.S. poll for character. If there was, Army would surely be ranked #1.
Where have you seen character demonstrated this past week?
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.