I wrote the blog post, Football is NOT Life, in 2010. I was two years out of my bad breakup with football coaching. The obsession with coaching the sport was waning and life, my real, actual life was beginning to seep back into its position of dominance in my psyche. It’s hard to explain if you’ve never experienced it. Football coaching, coaching in general, has a tendency to take over the way one thinks.
How would I block this play against this front? If they shift into this formation, how will our defense adjust?
Everything football all the time. Every day, all year long, probably 50% on average of all my thought processes circled back to football. That percentage probably jumped to 80% during the season. Analysis of every, single detail to find a way to be better. Every day.
Devising not only a Plan A and a Plan B, but a Plan C through Z also, just in case.
I wrote this mostly for me. I was the guilty party. I needed to put this on paper and post it to always remind me, Football is not life, life is life.
I am also re-posting the original blog piece for you. You know, you folks out there who have let things slip out of focus. The ones who are half crazed with the emotion and the frustration and the disappointment associated with sports, especially when things are heading south in a hurry.
Everybody wants to win, it is written in the marrow of our bones. However, not everybody can win and we need to remind ourselves there are worse things in life than losing a game of football, no matter how much it hurts.
Respect the kids and respect the coaches. Respect the work and effort everyone invests, no matter how disappointing the outcome is. Use games and sports to build character in our young people, not to expose poor character.
Please read this post and think about it. If it helps, then pass it on to the next person before we adults take all the fun out of this great game.
(originally posted on September 21, 2010)
FOOTBALL IS NOT LIFE
I know this may sound highly irrational and maybe even a bit hypocritical coming from me, but contrary to what the t-shirts say, FOOTBALL IS NOT LIFE!.
Football is the greatest damn game ever invented, but it is not life. Football is intensity, competitiveness, sportsmanship and violence, but it is not life. Football requires immense strategy and teamwork, but it is not life. Football provides education, drama, entertainment, and a solidarity which binds communities, campuses and fan bases throughout the nation, but it is not life. Football is universal, it is played by presidents and paupers, genius and idiot, big and small, aggressive and passive, rich and poor, but it is not life. Football should not be all consuming. Football should not be the top priority. I know this for a fact, I have tripped and fallen down this hole before (see my story).
Football can be like a package of Oreos, both need to be consumed in moderation. You’ve been there, you opened the package of Oreos and left it out on the counter. Sooner, rather than later, the whole package is gone and you don’t feel so good. But if you open that package and only take a couple of Oreos and place the package in the cupboard for a later date, they not only taste spectacular, but last and satisfy for days upon days. Football is not life. It should be taken in moderation and/or with a tall glass of milk, (1% or skim preferably).
Football has it’s proper place, it has it’s proper perspective. Football is not the primary reason for the existence of high schools, colleges and universities.
Yes, football is important. It is important to compete. It is important to work hard to be the best coach or player you can be. It is important to compete with purpose, pride and passion. But I think Coach Paul Lane said it best with his prioritization of the sport, “Faith, Family, Football, in that order”.
Football is important to me. But football is not life. Let’s work to keep football in it’s proper perspective and place. I would hate for you to get a football belly-ache.