Yesterday I went to my first Oregon State Men’s Basketball.

The Ducks crushed the Tigers. Something that would never happen in real life but mascots fight on a different realm.

Final score was 128 to 59, which ended up being a school record.

Something happened near the eight minute mark of the second half. The student section of the stadium start cheering for a player on the team. This player didn’t just make a game winning play, they hadn’t even played all game.

The typical basketball team has 12 players on the roster. 5 starters and 7 others that come of the bench. A talented team will only play about 10 guys a game. Leave 2 others to ride the bench most of the season.

The student section wanted a player like this to get some play time. The 12th man on the depth chart.

Someone who gets a standing ovation just for coming into the game, but is never gets an MVP award. Someone you don’t expect to win. Someone who rarely plays in the game but still has to put in the work.

We applaud these players in secret because we know the difficult path they’ve chosen. The humility needed to take a backseat and do what is best for the team. The character needed to make others better when nobody’s watching, while smiling when everyone is. To never be the most talented person in the room.

If you’re in the audience than the 12th man is way better than you.

Are you willing to be the 12th man?

I. Pink Toes by Childish Gambino, Jhene Aiko on repeat.