One is humble in victory, thanking God and teammates; the other is self-righteous and lectures America.
Clemson beat out Alabama in the college national football championship Monday night by a score of 35-31. The Clemson Tigers quarterback, Deshaun Watson, threw a last-minute touchdown, and the player took his nail-biting victory with grace and humility.
“It’s what God wanted,” Watson told ESPN following the game. “He picked us for a reason. Now, I talked to one of my coaches, and he said, ‘This is unbelievable, and it’s going to end the right way. Just keep believing in God and just believe in your teammates, and everything is going to fall into place.’ And that’s what happened.”
Watson had more than just the game to celebrate. The two-time Heisman trophy finalist revealed Monday night he is headed to the 2017 NFL draft. He told ESPN about his future in football: “Whoever picks me up is gonna get a champion, not just on the field, but off the field, and just a champion at heart who’ll make people around him better.” The young quarterback added, “I’m just gonna go to work, and regardless of my situation or where I go, I’m gonna play my role and do the best I can do.”
Just one night before the big game, actress Meryl Streep hijacked the Golden Globes by using her lifetime achievement award win to drone on about President-Elect Donald Trump and disparage him. During her political tirade, she managed to even throw in a dig at football. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Streep may not be a fan of the sport of football — but she certainly could learn a thing or two from one of its players. When Watson played an integral role in a last-minute victory of one of the biggest football games of the year, he used the victory as an opportunity to humble himself. He talked about God and his teammates and shared the win.
The 21-year-old player had more reason than just the win to have his head in the clouds, too. There was the news of moving onto the NFL draft and a potentially lucrative future with an NFL team, which is enough to make any athlete’s head spin. He helped to give the Tigers their first national championship since 1981 and was named offensive MVP of the game.
Still, Watson presented himself with grace in the face of achievement and promoted faith, teamwork, and a good work ethic. Watson said he would “play my role and do the best I can do,” no matter where his future took him.
Streep, meanwhile, could have been humbled. Instead, she chose to exemplify the pompous nature so many celebrities put on display. She spent her speech talking down Trump and those who support him. She talked up the victimhood of Hollywood and divided the room with her comments about fighting against the next president of the United States. If the viral picture of Vince Vaughn and Mel Gibson’s faces were any indication, not even the entire room was behind Streep’s decision to force everyone in attendance to listen to her political diatribe.
Streep may not be a fan of football, but comparing the tone of her victory speech to that of Watson’s, it’s easy to see there’s a lot the actress could learn about humility and grace from the sport and its players.