Tag Archives: football

Twenty-five things (more or less) I’ve learned about life: #2 and #3

I really hate it when people use sports as a metaphor for life so I’m not going to do that.  Instead, I’m going to talk about two tough young men and what I have learned from them.   They just both HAPPEN to be football players, both quarterbacks for the University of Louisville.

Will Stein is a senior who started for the Cardinals at the beginning of last season.  He came to UofL as a walk-on and had to earn both a scholarship and a position as a starter.   When he was injured last season, freshman Teddy Bridgewater took over and Will didn’t get another start–until Thursday, November 29, against Rutgers.   He started only because Teddy had a broken wrist on his throwing hand and a sprained ankle.   Now, I’m not one of those football fans who believe players should shake off injuries and play through pain, but Teddy’s injuries weren’t life  threatening.   He just couldn’t move or use take a snap under center–both challenges for a quarterback. 

However, Will wasn’t getting the job done so Teddy came in.   The most impressive play was when the Cardinals were close to the end zone.  Teddy looked ahead and had a wide-open path to the end zone but he couldn’t run.  I could read the yearning in his posture.  He hobbled a few steps forward then shuffled the ball ahead to a player who made that final and winning touchdown.     What did I learn?  To  recognize your weaknesses and find another way to do the job.

But I learned an even greater lessons from Will.   He was pulled but when the Cardinals had a third down, he was called in because Teddy couldn’t run.  Seven times, Will took the snap, rolled out to the right, and made the first down.  Then he trotted off the field and left the glory for Teddy.

Will is known for his positive attitude.  He’s called Sunny Will.  Early in the game, Will took the ball on third down, ran for the first but misjudged and slid before he reached the marker.   The coach called a time out, furious.   After listening to the coach, Will smiled and said, “It’s okay,”  At least, I assume that’s what he said as he patted the coach’s shoulder.  Then Will went back in the game, and–on fourth down–made that final yard to keep the drive going.

What did I learn from Will?  Keep smiling, stay calm, and do the job.

Thanks, gentlemen.

Why, oh why do I love football?

I know that not all who read this blog are sports fans.  However, because I am,  I may mention them now and then, from time to time–and this is the NOW and this is THE TIME!  

My husband–who is also a sports’ nut–always says the best thing my father did was to teach me to love football, basketball, track, and baseball.  I learned to love  a few more on my own.  I grew up in Kansas City, MO, and my father was a HUGE Jayhawk–University of Kansas–fan.  We went to every home football and basketball game starting from when I was about three years old.   A legend in our family which my older brother disputes is that there was actually a picture of him when he was very young  in the Kansas City Star, shouting during a KU football game, “Let’s score a home run!”    We went to games in good weather and endured rain, freezing weather, and snow.  In fact, we didn’t think we were having a good time if we weren’t  cold and wet and miserable.  

However, by the time I graduated from high school, I decided to enter new and–to my parents, both KU grads–hostile territory at Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS.   At that ime, the Wildcats had great basketball–Final Four my senior year–but the worst football team in the country for years!   We were regularly blown out 70-0.  We were so bad, I tell my husband, that when we actually scored a touchdown, we’d have victory dances in Aggieville.

All of which brings up my joy with Kansas State’s football this year–and last and during all of the seasons Bill Snyder has coached.  Yes, this makes me shallow and interferes with my doing worthwhile things like writing books or–ugh–cleaning house.   However,  our success this year fills me with fear.  In fact, as the Wildcats dominated West Virginia this weekend, I didn’t relax halfway through the fourth quarter although we had a huge lead.  I’ve seen it vanish too often to ever feel comfortable.

But I’m not sure loving sports is completely shallow.  When my team wins a football games, I’m happy.  Okay, I’m shallow BUT happy and I don’t see anything wrong with this.  Oh, sure, if any sports program overtakes and overshadows the importance of ethics and honesty and education, that’s wrong.   I’m not in favor of that but I do love my team.  I belt out the Fight Song over and over during games.  I have a POWERCAT magnet on the side of my car and zip through town feeling  proud and meeting other K-State fans.  I tape every sports program after the game to revel in the win.

My team is number THREE in the BCS ratings.  Not something to build my life on but something to enjoy as well as filling me with trepidation.

What do you think?  Do like or dislike sports?  Why?    Do we emphasize athletic success to much?  Of course we do but is there anything wrong about enjoying the victory of your favorite teams?  I’d like to know how you feel.

What I miss living in Texas

I grew up in Kansas City, MO.   My father was a huge University of Kansas fan so we drove to Lawrence for every home football and basketball game as well as the Kansas Relays.

What I especially loved–even as a young child–was the glory of the changing leaves during our autumn drives.   Do I remember them as being more beautiful than they were or do I just miss them that much?

What do you think?  Do you enjoy the four season?  Which is your favorite and why?