He Missed a Huge Field Goal, Then Found a Lesson

Navy's Bennett Moehring inspires fans, teammates with how he handled crushing loss
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2017 1:05 PM CST
Navy's Bennett Moehring (16) kicks a field goal in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa in Tulsa, Okla., on Sept. 30, 2017.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Newser) – Bennett Moehring hadn't even turned 21 when he suffered one of the most crushing disappointments of his life, live in front of nearly 70,000 people in "swirling snow," per the AP. But the New York Times details the very adult way in which the Navy junior handled it all after he missed a possibly game-winning field goal in the Army-Navy game earlier this month, allowing Army to win 14-13. After the failed 48-yard kick, his teammates helped him off the field, and he wept in the locker room. But then he started drawing upon what he'd learned from the leadership course he was taking and from talks about character he'd heard from Navy coaches. He decided to face reporters, take responsibility, and talk about how lucky he felt to play football. "I'll use this as motivation," Moehring said. "I'll get better. It's the only option."

Then a surprising thing happened. Moehring started getting words of encouragement from all corners: "Generations" of past Navy players," kickers from other teams, even complete strangers—including a customer at Starbucks and his Uber driver—offered him praise and sent him notes of support via social media, email, and texts. All of this backup, as well as soul-searching on his own part, eventually helped Moehring cut himself some slack on not making what was likely a near-impossible kick in the first place, "given that there was snow and the length of the kick." It's also made him realize that his missed field goal turned out to be more blessing than burden. "If I made the kick, the glory would've faded," he tells the Times. "But with this, I can be an example of good sportsmanship, and that's lasting." The full story here. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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