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Sunday, November 29, 2009


It's one for the ages -- the motivational poem with an anonymous author -- but coaches have heard, read and used The Man in the Glass for as long as it's been around.

From comes a story of Virginia football coach Al Groh reading the poem to his team moments after losing to Virginia Tech and just before he lost his job. Always hate to see coaches get fired, especially the good guys. Here is a portion of the article:

In his postgame news conference, Groh did not directly answer a question about his future, but instead read a poem, "The Guy in the Glass," about how the most important person an individual has to please is himself. He closed with a testimonial about himself.

"When I visited the guy in the glass, I saw that he's a guy of commitment, of integrity, of dependability and accountability," Groh said. "He's loyal, his spirit is indomitable and he's caring and loving. I'm sure I will always call the guy in the glass a friend."

Groh also read the poem to his team before meeting with the media, and besides their disappointing finish, the players were emotional about falling short in Groh's final game.

"It's sad to see him go like this," defensive end Nate Collins, one of six captains on this year's team, said afterward. "I know me and the seniors talked this week, and we were just doing everything we could to get this win for him and for the coaches, because none of the coaches know what their futures are going to be like after this game. It's just tough.

"I hope the best for Coach Groh. I love Coach Groh like he's a father, and he's been a father figure to everyone here, and I don't think anyone can really say otherwise."

Read the entire article:

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in you life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

He’s the fellow to please-never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.