Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hail No!

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Victory!
Braves on the Warpath,
Fight for old DC!

I am a Redskins fan.

I have been a fan since Eddie LeBaron was quarterback.

I have been a fan since I first heard "Hail to the Redskins" while listening to a game with my Dad.

I have followed the Redskins through success and failure, victory and defeat, tragedy and triumph. Through the years, the Redskins have bumbled along to victory or defeat. 

Win or lose, I was proud to be a fan.

No more am I proud. The Redskins have quit. I have no other explanation for Sunday's debacle. They get no "Hail!" from me.

The coaches did not quit coaching. The offensive and defensive coordinators did not quit calling the plays. The quarterback did not quit throwing. The running back didn't quit running. Neither did at least two receivers quit receiving. There were even brief flashes of competence. But the line quit blocking, the linebackers and defensive backs quit pursuing, and the special teams just quit. Performance was less than lackluster. There was no hustle, no enthusiasm, no intensity. Were I a professional football player, I would be ashamed to accept my paycheck.

After the game, the head coach took full responsibility for his team's performance. It was a touch of class, but the coach can only direct. If players are unable or unwilling to respond or are half-assed in their response, the game is lost before it is played.

Football is a game of inches and seconds. One missed blocking assignment, one blown tackle, an inch too much or too little space, a microsecond too late to to see, turn, and react, a fraction less hustle than an opponent and the game lost.

Life is like football.

In life, as in football, you get no points for showing up. To succeed, you must execute.

In life, as in football, you need a game plan. Not having a plan is not a option. Not having a plan is not a good plan.

In life, as in football, You will need to adjust your game plan from time to time. And you need to have a "plan B" in your pocked for when "plan A" is not working.

In life, as in football, you must play every play until time runs out. You gain nothing by sitting on the sidelines. The final score depends on you. Success or failure depends on the final score. Unlike football, you will not see the scoreboard after the final gun.

In life, as in football, you must play every play with enthusiasm and intensity. The ancient proverb says "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your whole heart." As in a football game, your life results will show if you're "dogging it."

And finally, in life as in football, you are going to take some vicious hits. Sometimes, you will shake it off and continue. Sometimes, you may be forced to sit out a few plays. Sometimes, you may be put on the temporary disabled roster to heal and rehabilitate. But you must return to the game with all the enthusiasm and intensity you ever had. And you must return to the game ready and willing to take even more vicious hits.

Life, like football, isn't for WIMPs. If it were, it would not be life, and it would not be nearly as wonderful.

Where are you in the game of life?

Are you in the game or sitting on the sidelines?

How's your game plan working?

Are you shaking off the hits and getting back in the game?

Are you living every day with purpose, enthusiasm and intensity?

Your life depends on it.