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©Best

 
Billy Joe Thompson, age 8, from Raleigh, North Carolina, loved football.  His all-time
favorite team was the Carolina Panthers and he loved to watch Steve Smith in action.
Best of all, the Carolina Panthers had made it to the Championship, and they were
going to play against the Atlanta Falcons.  The game was going to start in just a few
minutes!  Billy was waiting for Jason, David, and Kenny to join him in watching the
game.

The crowd in the stadium sang the National Anthem, then gave a mighty cheer just as the
game was about to start.  But Billy was getting sleepy.
"I've just got to stay awake for the Championship game," thought Billy as he watched the
coin toss.  But Billy was really tired, and he slowly fell into a deep sleep.

Then the strangest thing happened.  As if by magic, Billy suddenly found himself at the
football stadium!  The Championship was being played right in front of his eyes!
He heard the loudspeaker.  "Attention ladies and gentlemen," the announcer called out.  
"The Carolina Panthers just asked if Billy Joe Thompson will join them for this game!"

Billy couldn't believe his luck!  Steve Smith came up to him and said, "Billy, we need
you on the team.  If you'll help us out for the rest of the game, we just might be able to win
the Championship!"
"I'll do the best I can," Billy said.
The players quickly got Billy into a uniform.  Maybe it was a little big, but Billy didn't
care.  He was actually in a huddle with the Carolina Panthers!

Billy joined the Carolina Panthers on the line of scrimmage.  As he was facing the
Atlanta Falcons, he remembered the quarterback saying to him, "I want you to go long
and to the right, and then I'm going to pass the ball to you."
"I sure wish Jason, David, and Kenny could see me now," thought Billy to himself
excitedly.

Billy ran as hard as he could.  The ball seemed to sail through the air forever.  Billy
caught it and ran as fast as he could.  The Atlanta Falcons tried to tackle him, but he
was too fast!
The crowd went wild as Billy scored a touchdown.

Later in the game, the score became tied.  Steve Smith told Billy that the coach wanted
to see him;
"Billy, we all know you can catch and run," the coach said.  "But if you can kick a field
goal, we can win this game."
"I'll try," Billy said with a big smile.

The players ran back out to the field.  The crowd grew silent.
The ball was snapped.  Billy kicked that ball with all his strength.  It flew through the air
and sailed right over the goal post!  Billy had scored the winning points!  The Carolina
Panthers
had won the game!

It was like a dream!  The other players hoisted Billy above their shoulders and marched
him around the football field.
Billy heard the loudspeaker announce, "Billy Joe Thompson has been chosen the
Most Valuable Player today."
The crowd started cheering, "Billy, Billy, Billy..."

"Billy, Billy, Billy.  Wake up!" Jason, David, and Kenny called.  "You must have fallen
asleep.  The game has already started."
"But I was just about to get my trophy for the Most Valuable Player Award," Billy
murmured as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.
"You'll always be the Most Valuable Player around here," Jason, David, and Kenny
replied.  "Now let's make some popcorn and watch the game!"

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