LANSING, Mich. — Migratory birds fly in a V-formation. The leader is at the very point of the V and takes his place at the back of the left side when his leadership time is over. There is no schedule, birds just do this naturally, by feeling. Rarely do we see this in every day life. We fight to get to the top and then hold on as long as we can. Even more rarely would you see this in college sports, but that’s where Joel Foreman ceases to be like any other college player, and becomes a different breed of Captain.
Joel has been a starter on the MSU offensive line throughout his career. The Friday prior to the opening game of the season was to be no different for him and his team. Joel, however; had much bigger plans. Joel completely surprised player Arthur Ray Jr. Foreman approached coach Mark Dantonio and asked if Ray could start in his place. Dantonio agreed. Ray was then asked by Dantonio to stand during the pre-game meal and was informed of his new placement in front of the entire team.
“I was ecstatic,” Ray said. “I actually had butterflies probably two hours before the game, I have been waiting for this moment for so long. I haven’t experienced that in about four years and it was great.”
The reason he was so excited for the opportunity is because he’s battled cancer in his left leg since two months after he signed with MSU. Clearly, Foreman has great leadership skills and saw this as an opportunity to reward a great young man and had this to say; ”Words can’t describe what kind of person Arthur Ray is, he’s not only an inspiration to me, but he’s an inspiration to this team. This last spring, I wasn’t able to obviously do it because I had surgery and stuff you know. I was coming back and to watch Arthur run those stairs with us, every time he’d get to the top of the stairs he would say ‘everyone told me I couldn’t do it, but I’m doing it’.” Coach Dantonio told everyone what happened and Foreman still refused to take the credit.
“It’s not something I did. It really isn’t. It’s something that Arthur deserved,” Foreman said. “This is something that he worked for. It’s just the beginning. Everybody’s else’s expectations for Arthur Ray has never been mine. It means stepping back on that field, proving everyone wrong.”
Joel Foreman is a leader that Spartan fans can be proud of and Arthur Ray is a hardworking lineman that just wants to get back to playing. “A lot of people thought I couldn’t get to this point,” Ray said. “I am ready to keep going.”
For Joel’s unselfish act, The Good In Sports awards him with a Gold Star. Well done, Joel. Well done.
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