Jason Money, 17-year-old quarterback for Spanish Fork High School, made one mistake during a recent football game that has resulted in both vicious threats and encouraging words.
On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, Money took to the football field with his teammates with the hopes of walking away with another chance to play. The game, played against Maple Mountain High School, would decide which team would move forward with their season and compete in the state playoffs for Utah. Spanish Fork was leading Maple Mountain 14-11 with just 3.7 seconds left in the game, Spanish Fork with possession of the ball. The win was easily within reach. All Spanish Fork had to do was run out the clock. Unfortunately, after the clock hit zeros instead of taking a knee to end the play, Money and many other players stopped moving, but two Maple Mountain players stripped the ball from Money and ran the ball for a touchdown to win the game.
Of the momentous mistake, Money told Deseret News:
I just didn’t want to get tackled with time left. We were on their 20 and they could kick a field goal. I looked at the clock, and it was zero. And it was just relief. We just won. And all of a sudden, I was like, we didn’t just win.
Deseret News met with Money to learn how he was coping with his momentous mistake becoming viral overnight (the video, posted above, has more than 1.2 million hits on YouTube). Money shared with Deseret News that random people he doesn’t even know have tweeted and texted him hurtful comments. He has even received 15 different death threats. On the contrary, Money’s twitter feed has also filled with an outpouring of support and encouragement from his teammates, classmates and strangers:
@moneybadger5 is still one of the best athletes and nicest people I know!
— Riley Juber (@_Juber_) October 30, 2014
@moneybadger5 As some1 who has made mistake after mistake in his life, I can promise u that you WILL recover from this. God bless you, sir.
— GFL#13 (@GFL_13) November 3, 2014
— Isaac Asiata (@AsiataFive4) October 30, 2014
Special shout out to @moneybadger5 such a great athlete and good person. It was a blast watching him play through the season. SFHS Dons!
— teighlor (@T_Hanks18) October 29, 2014
Money hasn’t just heard from classmates and strangers, but even celebrities have reached out to show the young quarterback some support. Deseret News reported that LaVell Edwards, former BYU football coach one of the most successful college football coaches of all-time, called to wish Money well. More support came in the form of phone calls from Gary Crowton, former head coach for BYU, Ty Detmer former BYU quarterback and winner of the Heisman Trophy, and Steve Leifson, mayor of Spanish Fork.
Another shock for Money came on Saturday morning when he received a call from Ryan Fitzpatrick, current starting quarterback for the Houston Texans. Deseret News reports that Fitzpatrick told Money:
I just wanted you to know, I really think a lot of you. … I know you’re a great person and you shouldn’t let this define you.
Money, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has also turned to his faith in God for help to overcome this humiliation. Asking Heavenly Father for understanding, Money says that he dropped to his knees and sobbed for a good 30 minutes. Although he recounts feeling extremely alone that first night after his mistake on the football field, Money says the days following brought an “overwhelming peaceful feeling that everything happens for a reason.”