Have you heard of the Grapevine Faith Lions and the Gainesville State Tornadoes?
If you answered yes, then chances are you probably heard about this story already. But if you’ve never heard of them before, please continue reading!
One of the books I’ve been spending time on at the moment is Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference by Max Lucado. In the book, he shared this phenomenal true story of two US high school football teams: the Grapevine Faith Lions and the Gainesville State Tornadoes. Although this happened a couple of years ago, I’m kind of behind on the news. :)
I’m sure there are still people out there who haven’t heard this, so I searched for it on the internet, because I believe it’s a story that still needs to be passed on. Please take the time to read this article (I pasted an excerpt below) or watch the video at the end of this post. I promise you won’t regret it. The story moved me and inspired me deeply, and I hope it does the same for you.
There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning.
by Rick Reilly, ESPN The Magazine
They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.
It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.
Did you hear that? The other team’s fans?
They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, “Go Tornadoes!” Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.
It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.
“I never in my life thought I’d hear people cheering for us to hit their kids,” recalls Gainesville’s QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. “I wouldn’t expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!”
And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he’d just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.
But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That’s because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.