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The story is told about “New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played UCLA in the Rose Bowl. In that game a young man named Roy Riegels, Team Captain, recovered a fumble for UCLA, that had been fumbled by Stumpy Thomason from Georgia Tech. Picking up the loose ball, he lost his direction and ran sixty-five yards toward the wrong goal line. One of his teammates, Beeny Lom, ran him down and tackled him just before he scored for the opposing team.” He was dubbed “Wrong Way Riegels”

“Several plays later the Bruins had to punt. Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety, demoralizing the UCLA team. The strange play came in the first half. At halftime the UCLA players filed off the field and into the dressing room. As others sat down on the benches and the floor, Riegels put a blanket around his shoulders, sat down in a corner, and put his face in his hands.

A football coach usually has a great deal to say to his team during halftime. That day Coach Price was quiet. No doubt he was trying to decide what to do with Riegels.

When the timekeeper came in and announced that there were three minutes before playing time, Coach Price looked at the team and said, "Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second." The players got up and started out, all but Riegels. He didn’t budge. The coach looked back and called to him. Riegels sat and said, "Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that played the first half will start the second. "Roy Riegels looked up, his cheeks wet with tears. "Coach," he said, "I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you. I’ve ruined the university’s reputation. I’ve ruined myself. I can’t face the crowd out there."

Coach Price reached out, put his hand on Riegels’ shoulder, and said, "Roy, get up and go back. The game is only half over." …

All of us have run a long way in the wrong direction. Because of the forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ, however, the game is not over.” Draw near to God – draw near to grace, and you will find, that grace is drawing near to you. (2)

(2) Mike Leiter, www.sermoncentral.com also www.jobsnorthwest.com/Stories/Story_950815.htm

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