Monday, October 31, 2005

We Can Learn A Lot From John Vaughn

By Jay Coulter
Football Saturday In The South

How would you stand up to the pressure? Imagine yourself on a project at work that is the biggest of the year. Imagine working long hours for weeks and weeks on in. Picture yourself working nights, sacrificing your family and free time.

Now imagine completing that project and despite all your efforts it falls flat. You fail. Not because you wanted to. But because you made a mistake that you didn’t mean to make. All of your co-workers ridicule you. People talk about you and laugh at you behind your back. Imagine co-workers vandalizing your home all because of a mistake. How would you handle the pressure? What would you do?

That’s what 21 year-old Auburn kicker John Vaughn has endured over the last week.

Something that all of us forget is that these kids work harder than most of us have ever dreamed of working. They go to work when many of us still have several hours left of sleep.

They push their bodies to a point that none of us can imagine. They don’t make a dime. And don’t forget they are still required to carry a full load in school. This is the life of John Vaughn and every other Auburn football player.

On Saturday afternoon against Ole Miss, John Vaughn made good. He overcame public ridicule that most of us can only imagine. After enduring eggs thrown at his residence, taunts from fans and scrutiny by everyone in the state and the South, Vaughn delivered.

How would you have reacted? I’ll tell you how Vaughn reacted. He went back to work. He worked on technique. He didn’t listen to the critics. He listened to himself. This is a 21 year-old kid.

I can only imagine today how proud his parents must be. The Nashville native taught a lot of us who are a lot older and supposedly a lot wiser how to handle adversity and reach down and pick yourself up.

In a world where many of our young people have lost their way through drugs and other social problems, John Vaughn stands out. On Saturday with 86,000 + watching he came through with the two biggest field goals of his life. And it may end up being the two biggest field goals of Auburn’s season.

I can promise you one thing. John Vaughn will be a success in life. He already is more successful than most. Anyone who can handle adversity like this guy has is special. I’m mighty proud of John Vaughn today. I’ve learned a lot from him this week. Thanks John.

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