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A losing coach with an underdog football team faces their giants of fear and failure on and off the field to surprising results.
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: You act like you gonna miss before you even kick the ball. See, we're gonna have to change your whole kicking philosophy. Now see, you kick it wide left, or wide right, but that ain't gonna get you home. The ball has got to go through the middle. David Childers: I know, coach. J.T. Hawkins Jr.: No, no, no. You don't. Now what does scripture say about this? Scripture says wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. And many that be there find it. Now to us; that's wide left, and wide right. But narrow is the gate and straight is the way that leads to life, and few that be there find it. Anybody can kick it wide left and wide right. My momma can kick it wide left and wide right. But that ain't gonna get you home. It don't have to look great. It don't have to look smooth. It can look like a dying duck. But the ball has got to go through the middle. Now David, you gonna have to choose the narrow way. Cause that's the only path where you gonna get your reward.
Grant Taylor: David, I need a 51-yard field goal. David Childers: Coach, I can't kick that far. Grant Taylor: David, they've been stopping the run and the pass all night. You're my best option. David Childers: Coach, the farthest I've ever kicked is a 39-yarder. There is no way I can kick a 51-yard field goal. Grant Taylor: I believe you can. Your job is to do the best you can, and leave the rest up to God. I need you on that field. All right, field goal unit! Announcer #2: I don't understand this, but with two seconds left on the clock, but Coach Grant Taylor and the Shiloh Eagles are putting the game in the hands of a 145-pound backup kicker. This isn't a good move on Grant Taylor's part. He even has to kick into the wind. Brady Owens: Grant, we gotta throw it. He can't kick it from there. It's too far. Grant Taylor: No, it's not. Brady Owens: What are you doing? Grant Taylor: I'm preparing for rain.
Grant Taylor: I want God to bless this team so much people will talk about what He did. But it means we gotta give Him our best in every area. And if we win, we praise Him. And if we lose, we praise Him. Either way we honor Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm askin' you... What are you living for? I resolve to give God everything I've got, then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me.
Grant Taylor: Hey, where's my car? J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Where'd you park it? Grant Taylor: Right here! J.T. Hawkins Jr.: You sure? 'Cause ain't no way it got stolen. Man, you couldn't pay nobody to steal your car! Grant Taylor: Did the boys do something with it? J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Hey, I don't know... hey, man, there's a note on this truck for you. Grant Taylor: What does it say? J.T. Hawkins Jr.: It says, "Grant Taylor, the impact you've made on our school means more to us than you'll ever know. The Lord has used you to meet a need in our lives. Now we want to meet a need in yours. You'll find the title of this new truck in your name. Please accept it as our way of saying thank you." J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Uh uh! Somebody done gave you a truck? [opens door] J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Man, this title got your name on it. You got to be kiddin' me. Grant Taylor! Somebody done gave you a new truck! Grant Taylor: [stunned] This is my truck... J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Is this because you the head coach? 'Cause I'm the assistant coach. You think I'd get a moped outta this or something! Grant Taylor: [almost in tears] Oh, Lord, You've given me a truck! J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Well, it's your truck... drive it! Neal Prater: [hiding in the distance, observing and smiling] Not a word. Matt Prater: Yes, sir. J.T. Hawkins Jr.: [as Grant drives away] That's right! No more jumper cables!
Grant Taylor: Lord Jesus, would you help me? I need you. Lord, I feel that there are giants of fear and failure staring down at me, waiting to crush me. And I don't know how to beat 'em, Lord. I'm tired of being afraid. Lord, if you want me to do something else, show me. If you don't want me to have children, so be it. But You're my God. You're on the throne. You can have my hopes and my dreams. Lord, give me something. Show me something.
Grant Taylor: God can do whatever He wants to do, however He wants to do it. And He chooses to work in our lives because He loves us. He's good. Hope today's a milestone for what He can do for the rest of your life if you trust Him.
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: By the way, some man called lookin' for you today. Grant Taylor: Who? J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Stan Schultz. Grant Taylor: Stan Schultz? J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Yeah. Brady Owens: Stan Schultz - isn't that a cartoonist? Grant Taylor: That's *Charles* Schultz. J.T. Hawkins Jr.: No, I thought Charles Schultz was that man that flew across the ocean in "The Spirit of St. Andrews." Grant Taylor: That's Charles Lindbergh, and it's "The Spirit of St. Louis." Brady Owens: Naw, Lindbergh is a cheese! Grant Taylor: Limburger's the cheese. Lindbergh's the man. J.T. Hawkins Jr.: No, Lindbergh was that blimp that blew up and killed all them people. Grant Taylor: That's the Hindenburg. Brady Owens: Nah, Hindenburg's where you go skiing in Tennessee. Grant Taylor: That's Gatlinburg! J.T. Hawkins Jr.: Gatlinburg? You mean like the country music group, the Gatlinburg Brothers? Grant Taylor: [throws ball] Crazy.
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: It don't have to look pretty, it don't have to look smooth. It can look like a dying duck as long as it goes through the goal.
Grant Taylor: I'm a bit nervous. It's the championship. It's kind of surreal for me. Mark Richt: Well, I can promise you. I don't care what level of ball you're coaching; it's surreal when you make it to the championship game. And Grant, I can just tell you: I'm so proud of you and what you've done. I've been reading about the team and where you've gone, and more than anything else I'm just proud of the fact that you finally learned to win the big one. Grant Taylor: Well, we haven't played them yet. Mark Richt: No, you won the big one when you accepted Christ. And now that you're teaching these guys and ministering to them, I think it's just fantastic. Grant Taylor: I got it. These players got it. Mark Richt: Well, I can promise you: win or loose this game, you guys are champions. Grant Taylor: I appreciate that. Mark Richt: But while you're here, you might as well win it, eh? Grant Taylor: I will try my best. You know, this team we're playing: they're huge, they're fast, they're strong. I just don't want my players to be afraid. Mark Richt: Well, in God's word He said 365 different times, "Do not fear." Now if He says it that many times, you know He's serious about it, don't ya?
Grant Taylor: With God, nothing is impossible.
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: You think I gotta get at least a moped outta this or something.
Grant Taylor: Scripture says to honor your parents, and all you do is complain. Matt Prater: All he does is boss me around. He doesn't even try to understand me. Grant Taylor: Matt, you can't judge your father by his actions and then judge yourself by your intentions. It doesn't work that way. You're not responsible for him. You're responsible for you. You honor God by honoring your authority.
Brock Kelley: You don't want us to win games? Grant Taylor: No. Not if that's our main goal. Winning football games is too small a thing to live for. And I love football as much as anybody. But even championship trophies will collect dust and one day be forgotten. It's just that so far this has all been about us; how we can look good, how we can get the glory. The more I read this book, the more I realize that life's not about us. We're not here to get glory, make money, and die. The Bible says that God put us here for Him. To honour Him. Jesus said that the most important thing you can do with your life is to love God with everything you are, to love others and yourself. So if we win every game and we miss that, we've done nothing. Football then means nothing. So I'm here to present you a new team philosophy. I think that football is just one of the tools we use to honor God. Brock Kelley: So you think that God does care about football? Grant Taylor: I think He cares about your faith. He cares about where your heart is. And if you can live your faith out on the football field then yes, God cares about football because He cares about you. He sent His son Jesus to die for us so we could live for Him. That's why we're here. But see, it's not just on the football field; we've got to honor Him in our relationships, our respect for authority, in the classroom, and when you're at home alone surfing the internet. I want God to bless this team so much that people talk about what He did. But it means we got to give Him our best in every area. If we win, we praise Him. And if we loose, we praise Him. Either way, we honour Him with our actions and our attitudes. So I'm asking you: what are you living for? I've resolved to give God everything I've got. Then I'll leave the results up to Him. I want to know if you'll join me?
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: When a black man loses his hair. He still looks cool. Look at Michael Jordan. Samuel Jackson. [continues with all the black bald men he can think of] J.T. Hawkins Jr.: And what do you have? Kojak.
Grant Taylor: Brooke, I can't provide you with a decent home, I can't provide you with a decent car, I'm a failing coach with a losing record. And I can't give you the children you want.
Brooke Taylor: Grant Taylor, I just want you to know that you've made a team. Grant Taylor: What team? Brooke Taylor: The daddy team.
Grant Taylor: We weren't supposed to have a winning season, but we do. We weren't supposed to advance to the playoffs, but we did. We're not supposed to be here, but we are.
Larry Childers: Did you do your best, son? David Childers: I knew I was gonna miss it before it kicked it. Larry Childers: Your actions will always follow your beliefs, David. David Childers: Dad, I can't even kick it straight. Larry Childers: And I can't walk. Should I just stay home and pout about it? If you accept defeat, David, then that's what you'll get.
Grant Taylor: Will someone tell me how we lost to Dewey County 21 to 7? 21 TO 7! Dewey County hasn't beaten Shiloh since you were in kindergarten! I don't know what you call that junk out there, but it sure wasn't football. Nine dropped passes, four fumbles, three interceptions. THEIR DEFENSE SCORED MOST OF THE POINTS! YOU GAVE THE GAME AWAY! You can't win football games if you don't play together as a team! You can't win games when you're more concerned about what you're doing afterwards! And you can't learn the plays when you miss practice cause you're sitting in detention! I'm sick of the apathy on this team! If we're not here to win football games, then WHY ARE WE HERE?
J.T. Hawkins Jr.: So basically we got the toughest schedule we ever had. And less talent we ever had... Grant Taylor: I'm so sick of average seasons.
Grant Taylor: You can't judge your father by his actions and yourself by your intentions. It just doesn't work that way.
Brooke Taylor: Grant, we gotta do something about the car. The only thing it does faithfully for us is break down.
Brooke Taylor: She said that I'm fine, my numbers were normal, and there was nothing that gave her concern. Grant Taylor: That's good. Brooke Taylor: It doesn't mean the problem is with you. Grant Taylor: What else could it mean? Brooke Taylor: We may just have not given it enough time. Grant Taylor: Four years? Brooke Taylor: You still hoping we'll have a baby? Grant Taylor: You know I am. Brooke Taylor: Me too. I catch myself thinking about it more and more. Don't you want to know if something is preventing it? Are you afraid of getting checked out? Grant Taylor: Yes. Brooke Taylor: Grant, I'm still clinging to a hope that one day we'll have children. I imagine them running in this house. I hear them playing in the backyard. Or running to our bed in a thunderstorm. And I think about reading them stories and teaching them songs. And I just keep thinking; how can I miss someone so much that I have never met? Grant Taylor: I'll go.
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