Four years ago, Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts found himself benched by Alabama coach Nick Saban during a national championship game as the victory was slipping away from his team’s hands, writes Jeré Longman for The New York Times.
However Alabama managed to win after all, bringing conflicting feelings of both celebration and disappointment for Hurts. While he later cried in his room, he never showed the public that vulnerable side of him.
Instead of sulking, he cheered on the sideline. He did not complain publicly or leave for another school immediately, as many in his shoes would have done.
Instead, he transformed his discouragement over the game into resolve. Today, he refers to the benching and his response to it as the game that “made me who I am.”
“I think it put on a pedestal who I was as a person,” said Hurts. “I don’t think it made me, technically, but I think it put on a pedestal the character that I was raised with.”
These traits helped him guide the Eagles to a 13-1 record this season while also making him a favorite to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.
Read more about Jalen Hurts in The New York Times.
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