By Joan Endicott
Ever felt like giving up? If we’re being completely transparent, we’ve all had times when we felt disconnected, distraught, disillusioned or discouraged to the point of giving up. Some are feeling that way right now for a variety of reasons; possibly due to their current business, financial or family circumstances.I hope this story will serve to offer courage and hope to others as it did for me when I heard it. (The specific facts of this event are on Wikipedia. This version is by Haddon W. Robinson — New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played University of California in the Rose Bowl. In that game, a man named Roy Riegels recovered a fumble for California. Somehow, he became confused and started running 65 yards in the wrong direction. One of his teammates, Benny Lom, outdistanced him and downed him just before he scored for the opposing team. When California attempted to punt, Tech blocked the kick and scored a safety that was the ultimate margin of victory.That strange play came in the first half, and everyone who was watching the game was asking the same question: “What will Coach Nibbs Price do with Roy Riegels in the second half?” The men filed off the field and went into the dressing room. They sat down on the benches and on the floor, all but Riegels. He put his blanket around his shoulders, sat down in a corner, put his face in his hands and cried like a baby.If you have played football, you know that a coach usually has a great deal to say to his team during halftime. That day Coach Price was quiet. No doubt he was trying to decide what to do with Riegels.Then the timekeeper came in and announced that there were three minutes before playing time. Coach Price looked at the team and said simply, “Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second.”

The players got up and started out, all but Riegels. He did not budge. The coach looked back and called to him again; still he didn’t move. Coach Price went over to where Riegels sat and said, “Roy, didn’t you hear me? The same team that played the first half will start the second.”

Then Roy Riegels looked up and his cheeks were wet with a strong man’s tears. “Coach,” he said, “I can’t do it to save my life. I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined the University of California, I’ve ruined myself. I couldn’t face that crowd in the stadium to save my life.”

Then Coach Price reached out and put his hand on Riegel’s shoulder and said to him: “Roy, get up and go on back; the game is only half over.” And Roy Riegels went back, and those Tech men will tell you that they have never seen a man play football as Roy Riegels played that second half.

How will you play the second half? Two choices: give up or get up. Giving up and giving in to feelings of doubt and fear will defeat us every single time.

Instead, as both Roy Riegels and Coach Price did, if we get up and continue with courage, it means we take what we’ve learned through the tough times and become more determined (and focused) than ever. So let’s put on the helmet, get back out there and play the best second half of our lives!

* Award-winning speaker, author and coach Joan Endicott works with individuals and organizations to improve performance, productivity and profit. For more information, visit, or call 453-8056.