What True Class Looks Like
The National Championship game was incredible, so many exciting twists and turns with Alabama eventually taking it in OT on a 41-yard touchdown pass that ended in heartbreak for Georgia, who lost 26-23. The headlines are all centered on Alabama’s freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, who took over the QB duties in the second half and played like a seasoned veteran – throwing three touchdown passes including the game winner. But as good as Tagovailoa was, there was only one player my friends and I couldn’t stop talking about: Alabama’s starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, who was removed from his duties after the first half.
Hurts was the regular season starter, he threw only one interception all year with an impressive 26-2 record over the past two years. He was Offensive MVP in the Sugar Bowl two weeks ago. He was poised to capture his first National Championship title after losing in the last few seconds to Clemson in last year’s championship game. But instead, he watched from the sideline, benched after the first half, as Tagovailoa led the Tide to glory. And he did so with nothing but class.
As the cameras continually found him on the sidelines, he wasn’t head down, hiding in the back, forcing mild enthusiasm. And he definitely didn’t attack a coach and throw a tantrum as we all watched his teammate, linebacker Mekhi Brown, do earlier in the game. Nope. He was right there in the moment, involved, encouraging, and happy for his team. At one point you could see him giving Tagovailoa advice and encouragement on the sideline. After the game, he was one of the first players to run out and congratulate the winning QB. In post-game interviews, he sang his teammate’s praises and expressed nothing but joy, “He has that ‘it’ factor, I’m so happy for him and so happy for the team.”
Yes, this 19-year-old displayed more class than most adults would in his situation. There’s no doubt, after leading this team for two straight years, that watching them win the National Title from the sideline couldn’t have been easy. But he did. And it was a display of humility and graciousness that we don’t see very often these days. Hats off to the parents of Jalen Hurts. Last night he defined class and gave us all something to shoot for!