I’m a big college football fan. I don’t care for pro football, and all their silly touchdown dances and other shenanigans. College football, though? Lots of incredibly passionate kids playing each week for the glory of their school. I’ve been a UGA fan my whole life, and to this day, it’s really the only sports I HAVE to watch each year. No other sports has my attention or affection. Now that it’s back in session, life feels more awesome, and it’s a great symbol that Fall is here or on the way.
I was thinking earlier, of all the reasons I love college football, and I realized there are some serious life lessons there if you’re willing to see them. So, enjoy:
1. “Even the #1 team loses a game or two.” It doesn’t matter who you are, even the best lose and make mistakes. Remember that, when you make a mistake and fall. Learn from it and move on. That’s exactly what most college football teams try and do. Watch the tape, see the mistake, figure out a way to correct it and move on. Don’t dwell on the mistake or loss. We all make mistakes. It’s how we react to them that makes us better people.
2. “No one person wins a game for the team.” Aaron Murray, the quarterback for UGA is a really good QB. I don’t think he’s a great quarterback, but I think he’s a really good one, but I’ve seen enough games to know that it ain’t up to him. He gets sacked a good bit, and that’s the offensive line not doing their part to guard him. Our offense drops balls and fumbles balls. Again, that’s not him. For a team to be successful, whether on a field on in the office, it takes the whole office, from the office manager to the person actually following through with the work. Each person plays a big role and matters. And they all have to be giving their all each day for the company to be successful. It’s not just one person. It can’t be.
3. “Sometimes a trick play is just what you need.” A couple of weeks ago, Georgia was playing Clemson and in the fourth quarter, and 4th and 1, instead of punting the ball away, assuredly giving up their real chance to take the lead and win, they fake punted, allowing Todd Gurley the chance to run the ball in for a TD. Georgia didn’t win the game, but it was a good start of a shift for momentum, and a risky move that was great to see. Sometimes, you just have to take a risk and try something outside of the box. You have to think things differently. You have to be willing to go for it, without thinking about the chance to fail, you have to assume the win.
4. “Focus on the small stuff, too.” There are a couple of real superstars playing in each game helping those teams win and lose each game, and they don’t get their own jersey. Turnovers and penalties. Yep. Every time a defense is pulled off sides by a half a yard, that’s five yards given away. Every time the ball falls out of the running back’s hands as he falls, that’s a turnover. Do these things enough in a game, you lose. It’s hard to overcome them.
In life, what are the really small things you do day in and day out that affect your ability to succeed? Do you take the time you need to prepare for each day? Do you get enough sleep? Do you keep track of your finances? Do you dress the role you have for work? Do you double check your work before you turn it in?
There are a million decisions, most seem very small, that you make day in and day out that amount to your success each day and each year. Focus on making these decisions better, and you will ensure yourself a better chance to succeed.
5. “Don’t be a fair-weather fan.” Every year in college football, players graduate, move on in life and off the field. The roster on college football teams changes constantly, players get hurt, and some players have to sit out because of their grades. Whatever the reason, despite the best recruiting from a team’s coaches, your favorite school will have good years, bad years, and so-so years. Your team still needs your support and rooting on. These are kids who are giving their all on the field for their school, city, state and ultimately for you. Cheer them on, even when they’re not having the best of years.
With that being said, this could easily say “Don’t be a fair-weather friend.” Every person that you know is going through a season of their life. Some are in a good season, some a rough patch. It has been said that all of us are fighting a battle each day, and we should give more grace, and I believe that’s true. That’s why it’s important for us to be the best friends we can to each other, even when they’re not at their best. Even when your friend is being an @$$, even when they’re depressed, even when they’re just not a lot of fun to be around. You may not know the reasons why, but they need you just the same. Whether they’re doing well or not, they need you. You need them. We all need each other right where we’re at. Let’s share more love and grace to each other every day. Let’s cheer each other on, even when we’re not at our best. Let’s support each other every day, as if it were ourselves. Go team.,