New Canaan, CT - Monday, January 28, 2013
As part of an NCAA sponsorship and marketing package, the Tri-State Chevrolet Dealers are running a half-time 'shot from center court to win a Chevy Cruze' contest at select New York area College and University home basketball games. Last Monday, January 21st, at Webster Bank Arena was one of the Fairfield University games chosen for this promotion. Earlier in the day on Monday, KARL Chevrolet drivers delivered a new Chevy Cruze to the Arena for display at the Fairfield University Stags vs. Loyola of Maryland Greyhounds game that night.
During the first half, a fans name was drawn from entries for the chance to step onto the court during halftime to take a shot from center court to win the Cruze. John Queenan was the lucky fan whose name was drawn, but little did he know just how lucky he was to be.
Fast forward to the next afternoon; Tuesday at about 2:30pm when I received a phone call from the Chevy Dealer groups agency. On the call, I was told that the fan did in fact sink the half-court shot. However, there was a glitch. His foot may have crossed the center court line and insurance will take 2-3 weeks to determine the outcome. Needless to say there was already a video of the shot on YouTube and various comments on Twitter and FaceBook. I viewed the YouTube video a few times and then called two other dealers on the executive committee with me. Unanimously, we agreed that John had made the shot, and we also agreed that the right thing to do was to award John the new Chevy Cruze regardless of what the insurance company decides. It was simply the right thing to do.
What followed over the next few days was simply remarkable. To think that a simple decision to just do the right thing could cause such a national reaction was amazing. The story was run in the Connecticut Post, the Danbury News Times, the Stamford Advocate, the Hartford Courant, and many other papers. Cablevision News12 interviewed both John Queenan and myself and the story aired last Wednesday.
The power of this story simply proves that there are many Americans looking for good news.... and apparently, this story provided them with something that brightened their day and gave them hope for a better future. The Yahoo! Sports article garnered over 2,200 written comments on their website and also generated over 100 phone calls, emails and letters to our dealership. I am humbled that folks had such a powerful and positive reaction to such a simple story.
Each of us makes decisions every day based on what we believe is right or wrong based on the facts and information we have in front of us. For John Queenan's half-court shot, I had a video showing he was behind mid-court prior to taking two small steps into his shot and I had a video showing the ball going through the net. The Arena's court features a large Stag's logo at center court, thus there really is no center court line. So it became a judgment call. And just like the NFL reply officials, I saw no visual evidence of John's foot crossing the line (or imaginary line as the case may be), thus I believe the shot counts as called in the arena. A tremendous half-court effort and a new Chevy Cruze.
I'll have the pleasure of handing over the keys to John just prior to Fairfield's next home game, this Friday night, February 1st at 6:45pm.