Start the next part of your journey. Go far close to home at McDowell Tech, the 6th best community college in the USA

Wrong Way Roy

By Dennis Love

McDowell Countydennis love mcdowell county glenwood baptist church

Several years ago I was out turkey hunting, and I heard a turkey gobbling his head off, but he was a long way from where I was standing in the woods.  So, I decided to take off after him.  I went up several large hills, walked out a ridge or two, and down a couple of valleys, and was closing the distance between me and him.  I veered off to my right and then heard him behind me to my left.  I finally closed the gap, and he was now in front of me.  I found a good spot to sit down and do some calling. He would answer me, but he wouldn’t commit to coming close enough for me to see him.  He finally left, and so did I.

During all the moving and the action, I some way got turned around, and instead of walking out of the woods in the right direction, I was going the wrong way.  I finally came to a dirt road, and to my surprise found myself several miles from where I originally entered the woods.  I simply went the wrong way!  If you’re reading this, you have probably found yourself going the wrong way too at various times in your life.  Thank God for Google and GPS on my phone, or I would find myself going the wrong way regularly.

The Bible says in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way (path) that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”  On January 1, 1929, the National Football Championship game was played in the Rose Bowl between the California Golden Bears and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.  The team captain of the California Golden Bears was First Team All-American Roy Riegels.  During the second quarter of the big game, a Georgia Tech runner fumbled the football.  Roy Riegels scooped up the ball.  As he started to run from the pack of tacklers, Roy somehow got spun around and took off running the wrong way towards the Golden Bears’ (his team) goal line.  He ran the wrong way sixty-nine yards before he was finally tackled by a teammate at their own one-yard line.  Going the wrong way eventually cost his team a two-point safety.  The California Golden Bears lost the game and the championship, 8-7.  Roy Riegels became known forever as “Wrong Way Roy.”

Roy believed he was headed in the right direction, but he was horribly wrong.  I thought that I was headed in the right direction, but I too was horribly wrong.  Many people think they are headed in the right direction in life.  However, one day they will discover that the game was lost because they went the wrong way.  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

If you’re reading this and you are going the right way, stop and thank God that you are not a wrong way Roy.  Thank God that you are on the right path that leads to everlasting life.  However, if you’re reading this and you’re going the wrong way, God is giving you another opportunity to turn your life around and start walking the right way.  Wouldn’t it be terrible to die and then suddenly discover that you went the wrong way?  Jesus is the only way to Heaven and if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior, then you are going the right way.  Don’t come down to the end of your life and be labeled a “Wrong Way Roy.”      


Dr. Dennis Love is the Associational Missions Strategist for the Blue Ridge Baptist Association in McDowell County.  Dr. Love has been in full-time ministry work for 31 years.  He and his wife Vicki have been married for almost 42 years, and they have lived in Marion for almost 8 years.  They have two sons, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.  He can be reached via email at:

Read more of his Christian news articles here