For its documentary last night on Michigan’s Fab Five, ESPN understandably devoted a good chunk of time to what was probably the Fab Five’s most famous moment of the players’ college days: Chris Webber calling a timeout the team didn’t have during the 1993 NCAA championship game. Of course, Webber was crushed and felt as though he’d cost his team the game (actually, Michigan was losing at the time, so there was no guarantee they would have tied it up).
However, when you make such a critical blunder on such a high-profile stage, people are going to notice – some of them in prominent positions. And that’s how Webber wound up with the following letter assuring him that despite how he felt at the moment, everything would be all right:
Yes, that’s a letter from Bill Clinton (of course, President of the United States at the time). We imagine Webber would have traded this in for a national championship in a heartbeat, but still…had to be interesting when that arrived. And since some are having issues reading the letter’s contents, here is the letter, reproduced to the best of our ability:
I have been thinking of you a lot since I sat glued to the TV during the championship game.
I know that there may be nothing I or anyone else can say to ease the pain and disappointment of what happened.
Still, for whatever it’s worth, you, and your team, were terrific. And part of playing for high stakes under great pressure is the constant risk of mental error. I know. I have lost two political races and made countless mistakes over the last twenty years. What matters is the intensity, integrity, and courage you bring to the effort. That is certainly what you have done. You can always regret what occurred but don’t let it get you down or take away the satisfaction of what you have accomplished.
You have a great future. Hang in there.
Sincerely, Bill Clinton