This is one of those stories and, like the others, it’s incredibly heartwarming. But there’s a somewhat overshadowed facet of the story that shows the important, touching lesson learned by another student who participated in the event.
The teammates of Keith Orr, a student at Olivet Middle School in Michigan with some learning disabilities (and who is a hugger), schemed to give him a chance to score — without the knowledge of their coach.
Earlier this month, the team enacted their two-play plan at a home game. Play 1: get as close to the end zone as possible without scoring. Play 2: give the ball to Orr and protect him as much as possible in a rush to a touchdown.
Their mission was accomplished and Orr scored. His mother told CBS News this moment showed her that “somebody’s always going to have his back.”
CBS’ Steve Hartman said, “she’s right. When the football team decides you’re cool, pretty much everyone follows suit.”
“Now [the other players] eat lunch with him,” coachTim Jungel told WILX-TV. “Now they talk to him in the halls. Keith has discovered there are things he can accomplish he didn’t know he was capable of.”
That’s a good story. And it may touch your heart. But the moment that’s assured to get you comes at 2:30 in the CBS video.
That’s when wide receiver Justice Miller shares an important lesson about how being involved in this gesture changed him.
“…he’s never been cool or popular. He went from being pretty much a nobody,” Miller said, beginning to choke up, “to making everyone’s day.”
Before this, Miller said, he wouldn’t have thought of coming up with a scheme to help Orr get a touchdown.
“I kind of went from being somebody [who] mostly cared about myself and my friends to caring about everyone and trying to make everyone’s day and everyone’s life,” Miller said.
This, Hartman said, “may just make that touchdown, the most successful play of all time.”
Watch CBS News “On the Road” feature about the moment that changed the students’ lives: