“I don’t believe what I just saw.”
Those were the immortal words of Jack Buck on the national radio call when Kirk Gibson hit the game-winning home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
I know how he felt.
What a privilege to be in the end zone when Jaelen Strong came across the face of the defensive backs and hauled in the 46-yard touchdown pass from Mike Bercovici. It was a much bigger thrill to watch Bercovici celebrate.
The raw emotion of the man they call Berco running around “looking for someone to hug.” When I interviewed him on the sideline, he didn’t say how he was overlooked by other schools. He didn’t feel the need to tell every doubter in his ability where they could stick it. He never even said he deserved this. He complimented his coaches for the game plan. He said how great his teammates were for never giving up on him. He spoke about everyone else.
This was Hollywood stuff happening in Hollywood. Mike Bercovici is a fourth-year junior who threw his first TD pass this year. Weeks later, he gets his first start of the season. Everyone was rooting for him but no one wanted it to happen. He did what Danny White, Jake Plummer, Andrew Walter and Jeff Van Raaphorst had never done. He threw for over 400 yards in each of his first two starts.
The pass to Strong was one for the ages. It’s OK to lose your mind. The play of poise, however, was the touchdown before that. D.J. Foster had broken free across the middle. If Bercovici rips that pass, it could have “got on” Foster too fast like a batter jammed on an inside pitch because the window was right down the seam. A quarterback on his second start and first road start down by two possessions had the calm to drop that pass into Foster’s lap for the easy touchdown.
Bercovici lost his mind on the sideline. He was celebrating wildly. As ASU lined up for the onside kick, Bercovici started get his head back. He began to act like he’d been there, even though he never has. Although the onside kick was unsuccessful, he was undeterred. He focused on the work that was still remaining. He led his team with big plays on the last drive by staying calm when he had no experience at a moment like this. Mike Bercovici seemed immune to the pressure of the moment. Like he always knew he would, he came through.
This is America. If you don’t get what you’re looking for at work, you have every right to leave. How many are willing to stay at work when you don’t get the promotion? Do you respond to adversity as well? If it doesn’t go your way, will you stick through those times and be ready for your opportunity?
In one question, will you be like Mike?