When I was in high school I signed up to play football. I had never played before and so I spent most of my days as a free safety listenenig to the screams of some corner or strong safety yelling “thats your man” and I would vault into covereage.

It was in this time in my life that I learned one of the biggest lessons I have ever learned.

I was given a locker as was everyone else. Inside that locker was a white plastic sign with green letters. I read the sign and felt it was cool but didnt give it much thought beyond that.

I noticed that everyone always was looking in my locker and would just stand around behind me when the door was opened. I never gave it a second thought. Sometimes they would ask me to open my locker and it just didnt register as to why.

The next year the same thing the same locker the same attention that I missed the importance of. One of the most inspirational team members was a linebacker named Darrel Crawford. Darrell was a bluechip and was Mr. Alabama in football. Darrell committed to my beloved Auburn Tigers.

He was a big, straight “A”, I love and fear my mom kind of guy. Darrell pulled up once when he hit me and I told him I wouldnt get better if he did that. So he knocked the shit out of me after that. He asked me once if I knew how to change a tire. I went over to help and asked wher is the jack. Darrell didnt have a jack but insisted he and a running back would hold up the front end of this 71 or 72 monte carlo while I changed it. Thats what we did.

Darrell was heading to Auburn and he walked up to me in the locker room. As humble as a human can be Darrell asked me “Jody I was wondering can I take that sign with me to Auburn?” I couldnt get that sign down quick enough to give it to the best dude I ever met. Then it hit me Darrell and everyone else thought that was my sign. The little white plastic sign with the green letters that was just left in the locker.

That day it became the most profound thing I have ever read. Very simple actually. The truest statement I have ever seen. One that I still live by today:

“YOU NEVER FAIL UNTIL YOU QUIT TRYING”

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