On the eve of his 15th birthday, Jonathan Kornegay came face to face with a real, live genie, and, as this sort of story usually goes, was granted three wishes. Now, the content of two of these wishes is unimportant. After all, this is no grand moral tale warning you to be careful of what you wish for or to be wary of rewards too easily gotten. No, this is the story of something entirely different.
It's that third and final wish, the one thrown out half-heartedly as his acknowledgment of his youthful ideals of equality and fairness, that creates the impetus to move this story along. With his last, precious wish, Jonathan wished for the power of inspiration. This was no ordinary power of inspiration. Not only was Jonathan able to inspire others to reach their potential, he was able to inspire into them ability and desire that had not been there before. Sure, he recognized his ability as an attack on human free will, but being a bright boy, he'd also understood that free will had always had its limitations. Besides, he was making the world a better place.
That's not to say that young Jonathan saw the entire big picture. After all, he was just a teenager, and, like most adolescents, had a bit of trouble seeing any further into the future than the upcoming weekend or anything grander than the confines of his high school. Because of this, Jonathan did what any other red-blooded American boy would do when granted the supreme power of inspiration. He joined the football team.
Unfortunately for Jonathan, in his excitement at the prospect of three wishes and the pressures of a ticking clock (genies are known for their peculiar common quality of being sticklers for a deadline), he had failed to request any additional athletic ability. Maybe he had thought his power of inspiration would work on himself, or maybe the whole idea of being a successful athlete was such a foreign concept that Jonathan hadn't even thought of asking for it. His reasons really are inconsequential. All that really matters here is that he didn't ask for that ability and thus was a rather poor football player.
His team mates, however, benefited greatly from his decision.
To be continued...