Overcoming Disappointment With Resolve
In January of 2018, as the chance for a fifth national championship was slipping away, Alabama Football Coach Nick Saban faced a difficult choice. Stay with the quarterback who got the team to the championship or turn to a freshman with a better passing arm.
After a disappointing first half with only 21 passing yards, Saban made the executive decision to bench his star quarterback Jalen Hurts and replace him with untested Tua Tagovailova. It proved to be a great call. Tagovailova went on to throw three touchdown passes to beat Georgia and secure another crown for Saban and the storied program at Alabama.
During the second half of that game, Jalen Hurts stood on the sideline stunned and disappointed. Being yanked from the game was both a shock and an embarrassment. Internally, he was hurt and angry. But instead of sulking or complaining, Hurts composed himself and cheered voraciously for his replacement. On the sideline for the remainder of the game, Hurts did everything in his power to encourage his teammates and to support Tagovailova.
He replaced disappointment with positive resolve.
After the game, still stunned, Hurts didn’t know exactly how to respond. So he went to sleep and woke up the next morning with the attitude only champions can find after distress. Before the sun was up, he made a beeline for the team’s weight room and began working on making himself better.
Hurts wasn’t going to let the disappointment stop him from becoming a better quarterback. For the next few weeks, he doubled down in the weight room and with game film to take another step forward.
Hurts didn’t let failure or disappointment get in his way or derail his effort to be the best he can be. Five years later, he has the same attitude and commitment. No matter what the Super Bowl score, don’t look for Hurts to feel sorry for himself or to get down in the mouth about the game. He steadfastly refuses to let disappointment determine his actions. Ever.
Regardless of the outcome of Super Bowl LVII today (2/12/2023), and to your point, in the following collegiate season, Jalen Hurts acquitted himself as the consummate team player, backing up Tua Tagovailova all year. Then, in the 2018 SEC Championship, Tua was injured, and Hurts was called on to command a comeback from a two-touchdown deficit to Georgia, for an Alabama victory that USA Today notes was a "plot line... [that] even Hollywood screenwriters would have dismissed... as too improbable and overly sappy."