If you follow sports merely for the outcome of the final score then you’re missing the point in its entirety. Athletics, both from a participation and interest perspective, is about the parallel lessons taken from the playing fields and courts of competition as they directly relate to the other challenges that life tends to throw at all of us. Professional sports in their purest form are nothing more than mindless entertainment. So to truly use your mind as a tool to take away something more than just a great catch, precision throw, or bone jarring tackle is a gift we all should hope to embrace.
From a player’s point of view, the education is in the journey and not necessarily the destination. Speed slows, strength diminishes, and skills will wane with age as the ability to perform passes a little with each season. What’s left are friendships, perseverance, fortitude, work ethic, and any of the other character traits you choose to take with you after competing at the highest levels. For the fans it’s a similar take if you can get by the emotional pull of the wins and losses. There’s so much to be learned from the game of professional football and so many things you can take to tackle those life challenges that EVERYONE must face.
Here’s a story of one football fan that broke the bounds of stereotypes and displayed the type of loyalty that sometimes only sports can give a perspective to.
The Football Educator
A Football Story, but So Much More: When Wall Street Met LT
By Ali Conigliaro-Hubbard at Hergame
I received an email from my Mom last week that I felt sent such an important message that I thought, at least part of it should be shared. This is A Football Story, but really – the message is much more than that. In today’s times of judgment and finger pointing, & constant over-generalization about individuals based on race, religion, sexual orientation, political party, weight, choice of friends, and amongst other things, even choice of career, I felt this story needed to be shared.
For this blog I will make an example of the extreme generalization of a certain grouping of people that escalated when the country faced the mortgage debacle and crash of Wall Street in 2009. Every media outlet was all over it, from CNN to NBC to Yahoo!, to YouTube – media everywhere – and the masses jumped on the bandwagon, trouncing all over the popular cry: ‘all these Wall Street people care about is money’, ‘those greedy people on Wall Street looking only for their golden parachutes’…
But do we really all know the people about whom we speak in such derogatory commentary? Do we know how they live their lives – each and every one of them? Have we had an up close and personal view outside of what the media says? Because everything that is written in the media is always on the up and up, right? And the weatherman is always right too. We football fans should know better by now.
As in every single walk of life, granted, there are going to be people who make what many would deem greedy choices, or perhaps, even choices that are downright criminal (we see this in every profession, and in the NFL too). But for the most part, people are inherently good. And so the over-generalization that took over our country during the Wall Street crisis in the last few years has been quite painful to many individuals, and to the families of many good people who have given up so much of their life to work hard for their families in their chosen profession; and who have given and sacrificed so much even while working 17-20 hours, 6-7 days a week for decades; those who always answer the phone when their children need them, who volunteer and give back to their communities; who have still chosen the more economical or hybrid vehicles in place of the ostentatious.