By Robin E. Mason
Growing up, I loathed football. Don’t know why. All’s I remember is some boring game on the TV in black and white, no less, on Thanksgiving Day. I wasn’t a rah-rah in high school and definitely wasn’t one of the cool people. Read: jocks. I was happy on stage in the theatre department. Football had no appeal to me.
Fast forward a few years. (And this a testament to the power of luv.) After my divorce, I had a boyfriend who was a die-hard Denver Broncos fan. The type who would paint himself orange and blue if he ever had an opportunity to go to a game. Now, I could have done any number of things when the game was on, even nap next to him as he watched. Rather, his enthusiasm was contagious and I caught the bug. Plus, he explained things to me, helped me understand the game. I couldn’t sit and offer much in the way of understanding now, but I still like the game. And though it’s been several years (okay, many years) and we’ve long since parted ways, I remain a Broncos fan and I owe it to him.
The sound of a football game signals the start of fall. It echoes with the crunch of leaves falling to the ground, hazy sky from bonfires, and marching bands playing on the home field.
Organized sports, done right, teaches sportsmanship. It builds character and gives players a chance to learn their strengths. And their weaknesses. These are both important to know, in any profession or endeavor.
Quote from The Blind Side, the movie:
“Coach Cotton: What did you say to him?
Leigh Anne Touhy: You should really get to know your players. Michael scored in the 98th percentile in protective instincts.”
She knew Michael’s strength, the coach did not.
Not everyone is cut out for sports. I’m one. I’ll watch, but I don’t play. And that’s okay. I can still learn from teamwork and sportsmanship. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses is a must, regardless of my profession. Teachers come to mind. A teacher must know his or her own strengths and weaknesses before they face a room of blank faces staring at them, expecting some level of knowledge to be passed on. Even more, a teacher must learn his or her students’ strengths and weaknesses; not every student learns the same. Not every method of teaching – or coaching – reaches every student or player.
Same with writers. If I don’t know my strengths and weaknesses, I can spend hours in an endeavor that is better suited to pass along to another who is better qualified. Flip side, I have much to offer – my strengths balances another’s weakness, and vice versa. And let’s not even get started on our characters strengths and weaknesses…
In the end, isn’t that what life is about, that we, as individuals, balance each other? Are we not all created as individually as snowflakes? Have we not all been given gifts to share with others, with the Body of Christ? Is that not our identity, to be who God created each of us to be, strengths and weaknesses and all?
So who’s your team? NFL? College football? High school? Your star players? Me, I’m a John Elway fan from my early football-fan years. What about the most highly anticipated game of the season? Any rivalries that are must-watch games?
Write a football scene in which you are the coach. What are your strengths that you can give to your team? What are your weaknesses that are best passed to your assistant coach?
Ms. Mason has been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on her debut novel, Tessa in 2013. She resides in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1988. She is currently working on Clara Bess, the sequel to Tessa, which will be released in November of this year.
Come visit Robin at:
#everythingfootball, #NFL, #denverbroncos, #johnelway, #theblindside