I wrote the blog post, Football is NOT Life, in 2010. I re-post it every year at the start of the season as a reminder to myself and to you. When first published, 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.
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. Parents, be your child’s biggest fan, not their biggest critic. 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, (preferably 1% or skim).
Football has it’s proper place, it has its 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.
I think Coach Paul Lane said it best with his prioritization of the sport,
“Faith, family, and football is a game we are lucky enough to play.”
Football is important to me. But football is not life. Let’s work to keep football in its proper perspective and place. I would hate for you to get a football belly-ache.