Last night, with millions watching on their couches and over 94,000 fans witnessing an overwhelming spectacle in person, a friendship that started as childhood friends, that has now grown to college roommates, fishing and hunting buddies, and now long time memories of what could have been. We all witnessed what compassion and friendship should be.
Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley have been practicing how this National Championship night would play out, since the two boyhood friends played catch back in their neighborhoods in Texas.
However, when Colt was sidelined on the Texas Longhorns' first series, a road block seemed to have been placed in front of their dream destination. Although with No. 12 standing helplessly on the sideline, his teammate, go-to-receiver, and best friend tried everything he could do, to pick up the slack for the Texas offense and live out a childhood dream.
When the morale of the burnt-orange faithful seemed to be losing its' heartbeat, Jordan Shipley rose up to bring the Longhorns back to life with a 44-yard touchdown catch.
The first person to congratulate Shipley when he reached the sideline, was the Longhorns' ailing quarterback, Colt McCoy.
None of us know what was said, but Shipley knew he had the support and encouragement of his best friend, McCoy.
Their dream of winning the national title together, might not occur on the field passing and catching like they planned, but they could still celebrate and bask in the glory together, as champions.
With time rapidly ticking down, Shipley once again stepped up to inch Texas within striking distance of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Once again, the touchdown was thrown not from McCoy but a potential future fishing and hunting buddy Garrett Gilbert. Shipley escaped the blown coverage of the Crimson Tide secondary and trotted into the endzone to cap off the 28-yard touchdown play.
Following a key, two point conversion by the Longhorns, the score read "Alabama 24 Texas 21," and the entire Rose Bowl took a collective deep breath and prepared for the final six minutes.
Without his usual gunslinger throwing to him, Shipley still managed to haul in ten catches for 122 yards and two desperate touchdowns.
McCoy and Shipley could have basked in the glory of this championship, and proved their chemistry and long hours of preparation in this crucial stage, yet McCoy was left helpless on the sideline, and watched as a wide-eyed freshman stood in his place.
None of us know how this contest might have turned out, if McCoy never was injured, but we do know that these two friends practiced, prepared, and dreamt about this stage and the accomplishments they could have reached together since the days of just playing catch.
A friendship was built, and then blossomed in front of our eyes, it is a shame that the fairy tale ending was never written, only imagined.