The power of one tweet
UAB's Friday morning off-season workout was just like any other, until it wasn't.
First, the backstory. Timothy Alexander was a very talented high school football player until a 2006 car accident robbed him of his football career and his ability to walk. A few years later, Alexander enrolled at UAB and as we understand it reached out to then-head coach Garrick McGee to see if he could become a part of the football program. Now bound mostly to a wheelchair, Alexander has his own locker and participates with the team as much as he can, including doing upper-body workouts with the team.
One thing he can't do, is run the Legion Field bleachers. Friday morning the team was running the stadium stairs. Everyone was on their way up when strength and conditioning coach Zac Woodfin looked down and realized that Alexander was left on the field by himself.
@DrewChamplin I didn't know what was going on. I was about to go stand up on the fence and coach says. "You wanna go to the TOP" Yes Sir!!— Timothy Alexander (@1stN2ndTimothy) February 15, 2014
Director of football operations Tyler Cook snapped this photo.
Then the rest of the team joined in.
There's a lot of things happening at once here. Woodfin and the rest of the team provided a moment Alexander will remember for the rest of his life but that moment also helped galvanize the team. Following the workout, Alexander broke it down with "One team, One goal!"
Moments like this don't often happen; and usually when they do they are remembered by only those there at the time. This time, Cook realized the moment and was able to capture the moment in a great picture from his phone. Cook told head coach Bill Clark that he wanted to share this moment with the football community. They decided to tweet the photo and tag @FootballScoop in the tweet. We retweeted the photo and it caught life of its own.
To date the tweet has been retweeted 459 times and received 304 favorites. It inspired articles in UAB's hometown Birmingham News, and was picked up by other websites across the country. Social media is a powerful tool when used correctly.
Coach Woodfin's selfless act brought his team together and undoubtedly was a moment Timothy will never forget. Coach Cook capturing and sharing the moment helped us all recognize the power of teamwork and determination.
We spoke with Coach Cook today and he said Timothy is a very determined young man who continues to make great strides in his recovery. We hope this moment gives him further encouragement to keep working towards all of his goals.