Cedric King recently had returned from Afghanistan, where he lost his legs and part of his right arm after stepping on a land mine during a half-hour shootout with the Taliban. He was struggling to adjust to his new life -- lost, in a way -- when he got an invitation to meet Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera at the team's hotel in Washington, D.C.
Rivera, a former military brat, had gotten King's name from a member of his staff who knew he was a Carolina fan. After a few minutes of hearing his story, Rivera asked King what motivated him.
"Living!" King told him.
So Rivera asked King, a Sgt. 1st Class with the 82nd Airborne, to share his message with the 1-6 Panthers the day before they faced the Redskins.
The next day, Carolina won.