Water Bottles


I have four children that have different interests from dance, basketball, running, football, horseback riding, soccer, to theatre. I am very thankful to have a diverse family and get to watch them enjoy all of their activities. My son had decided to play football last year for his middle school team. This simple picture defines my favorite moment from his season. My son played quarterback and wide receiver for the team and felt as a dad would; that he did a really good job. However, this picture does not represent him getting a much-needed sip of water after throwing or catching a touchdown pass. The picture capsules a moment at the end of halftime when two water bottles were left in the visitor’s end zone. Coaches began yelling for some players to go get them so they could start the game. Many players stared and didn’t move but my son and one other jogged down on their own to help out the coach.

This reminded me of an article written by Kevin Clark on “The Collected Stories of Marcus Mariota.” The entire article is amazing and such a great example of servant leadership. Below are a few clips of the admiration of his teammates and coaches:

“Last year, there was a rookie who didn’t have a car,” said Ben Jones, the Titans’ center. “Marcus found out and he’d drive the rookie back and forth. Even after games, we’d land late at night, he’d go 30 minutes out of his way.”  Who was it? “He didn’t make the team,” Jones said.

Mariota has a habit, Cassel said, of getting guys to do things. In the middle of this August, Titans players were roaring and ready for a training camp off-day. As soon as their meetings the night before are done, they are gone. “Everyone’s in a rush to get out,” Cassel said. “There’s these folding chairs in the meeting room that weren’t put away. [Mariota] walks in the back of the meeting room and starts folding them up and going and helping somebody who [would have to do it]. There is no other player who is doing this. I’m ready to get out of there, and I see that and I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll help too.’” Other players followed suit.

Darnell Arceneaux, Mariota’s high school coach, said there was a tradition at Saint Louis High School in Hawaii in which the lowest quarterback on the depth chart would pick up equipment after practice and carry it to the locker room. That tradition stood until Mariota wouldn’t let anyone else pick up balls and cones at practice. “So we’ve got this guy who has already committed to Oregon and he’s bringing in as many footballs as he can,” he said. “It was amazing.”

As a coach and father, this made me prouder than any achievement that could have been made on the gridiron. As the two walked back to the sideline I snapped a quick picture. This picture and article are on my son’s wall to this day. I want him to see this daily as a reminder of the importance of service, and how this leads to correct leadership. One day he will not be a leader in a hallway or an athletic team, but a husband and father of his “Ultimate Team”. Why are these small acts so important?? Because, while some look down upon the small jobs of life, they actually equal reliability for the future.Those that can be “trusted with little can be trusted with much.” The best players, employees, or friends are reliable in the small and big moments. We are built for others and the true nature of caring is genuine service.

We all have water bottles to some degree in our lives we need to pick up. There are things we can think of right now that would help those around us. What is something I can do today to show someone I care? Let’s choose to be a source of reliable value in all moments. Our actions matter more than we think…

Defining Moments Often Happen When You Feel

No One Is Watching

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3-4


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