For 32 years now I've been playing "Thank God for Kids" at this time of the year, and for most of those 32 years talking about my kids and some of yours.
A lot of the good... but too many times the bad.
I wanted to talk about Ethan Couch tonight, the little rich kid who chose to drink and drive, killed four people and injured two more. I wanted to talk about the parents who have failed that boy; the attorney who defended him; the psychologists who tried to explain him; and certainly the judge who let him go.
But there are just some stories that sicken me to such a point I have to let them go.
I'd rather talk tonight about the kids we don't talk about nearly enough — the kids in West who lost almost everything in that explosion.
They lost their neighbors, their high school... they lost the memories they should have had of their senior year.
Only to make better ones.
The boys on that football team decided they had to give their community a chance to forget about the pain and all they'd lost, and even though they lost all but one of their games, they found a way to bring a community back together... a way for friends and family to enjoy Friday nights again... and they will take those memories into a future that appears to be just a little bit brighter now, thanks to them.
High school football can teach a kid so much about life, and the lucky kids are the ones who play for a coach who knows that high school football is only a small part of their life.
A coach like Dallas Adamson's Josh Ragsdale, who has his kids taking the pledge against domestic violence.
The kids at Adamson didn't win many football games either, but who do you really want your daughter to date now: The football star who always wins, or the football player who knows what really matters.
Ted Madden did that story with the kids at Adamson at a bowling alley where they were volunteering with kids who bowl for Special Olympics... special kids everywhere you look.
These kids don't make the national headlines that Ethan Couch did. They don't get the national attention so many better teams do.
But these are the kids I talk about tonight because they prove to me again what I have long believed: Good kids will find a way, but only if we are willing to lead the way.
Josh Ragsdale is leading his kids. No one could be bothered to lead Ethan Couch, and maybe if only somebody had, the families of those he hurt... the victims he left behind... wouldn't be fighting the loneliness and the pain they feel now, just hoping that someday they'll find a way to face another day.
Thank God for kids.