An Open Letter to Vince Young

Donald Miller

Dear Vince,

You are one hell of a football player. I won’t forget anytime soon your years at Texas. I was holed up on an island in the San Juan’s trying to wrap up a book when you beat USC in the last few minutes of the game. A friend from USC was texting during the game and rubbing it in USC was going to win. I texted her back and said she shouldn’t be so sure. I watched you beat Oklahoma State earlier in the year and knew you stayed poised under pressure. You did it in Stillwater and you did it in the national championship. And I think you’ve got what it takes to do it again.

Quarterbacks who succeed in college rarely succeed in the NFL. I could name a few who have failed, but why? You know who they are. I can’t imagine what kind of pressure an NFL quarterback endures, but it’s not any kind of pressure I have to deal with or, for that matter, any of your critics have to deal with. And who knows what else is going on in your life? It’s none of my business. I only know none of your critics have ever carried a team on their shoulders, and none of them have won a national championship. None of them.

I would think the only way to succeed as an NFL quarterback would be to pass through rough terrain. You would have to be comfortable making a lot of mistakes for a lot of years, and you’d have to endure a few losing seasons too. You helped make the Titan’s successful right away, which was amazing. But there have also been hard turns, and that isn’t something you are used to. But in view of your entire career, this isn’t the 4th quarter, it’s the 1st. You’ve got a long time left, and I think you will pull it out.

But lets say you don’t. I mean lets say you quit the game and go on with your life. I don’t actually think that is such a bad move. If the game isn’t fun anymore, than who cares? It’s not like football is saving people’s lives, is it? And besides, you’ve already got stories to tell your kids and grandkids that will assure them they come from a remarkable lineage of talent and character. You won’t have to prove anything to them. And you have nothing more to prove to us. I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do.

One last thing. I’ve been a Vince Young fan since you’re days at Texas, and my fandom followed you to Nashville. But I’m not that big of a football fan. I get in about two games a week and follow the Seahawks and Titans. I have people over on Monday nights, you know. I’m not a big football fan but I’m a big Vince Young fan. I don’t care if you play the game or not. You’re a hell of a football player and a hell of a man. I learned to feel that way about people when I found out that is the way God felt about me. I have critics too, just like everybody.

But I don’t need to succeed in a game that doesn’t mean anything. And I don’t think you need to either. I know that is how God feels about all of us.

Whatever you do or whatever you decide, just know you’ve got a fan up in Oregon, by way of Texas, by way of Tennessee.



Donald Miller

P.S. I read one of your critics online and left a comment saying he was a spineless coward who didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Thought you’d like that.

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller has been telling his story for more than a decade, now he wants to help you tell yours. He’s helped over 1,000 companies clarify their message through the StoryBrand Workshops. For an introduction to what he’s doing now, check out the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover.

  • Merry Moore

    Don, you are so good at loving people… With the exception of Vince Young critics 🙂