Ok, so I’m not a big soccer fan. In fact, I’m NOT a soccer fan. But I am a sports fan. And this year and this summer we celebrate the world sport of “Football,” and the World Cup has me all would up.
Even if you’re not a soccer fan, if you love sports like I do, you could be and should be a fan of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. And this summer, this sport is on the world stage. How can you not get all in? Some have gone all out and bought team “T” Shirts and flags and taken “slick” leave from work to watch the games. And in watching these games, in sports in general and in soccer in particular, you have to keep your eye on the little things.
My wife and I are not soccer fans, but we caught the end of the Netherlands/Costa Rica match, and wow, what a win. The Dutch had chance after chance, made shot after shot on goal, but nothing, and I mean nothing, would go in the net. Sounds a lot like life. Sometimes we try, and try and try, and nothing will go in. We give our all, only to come up empty. That’s why we need to do it like the Dutch.
Even if you’re not a soccer fan, you have to be a fan of the underdog. In this match, it was anybody’s guess who would win. It was “Underdog A” vs. “Underdog B.” And underdogs know how to make the little things count. Underdogs don’t give up. Underdogs don’t give in. Underdogs don’t quit, because they have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. “When you execute the little things to perfection, then the score and the victory will take care of themselves! The victory will happen. It will happen because each one has done their part. When you do the little things, your collective efforts will come together as a victory.” http://pregamespeeches.com/TakeCareOfTheLittleThings.htm
Underdogs take gambles and chances, risks and ventures, all in hopes of doing any and every little win to gain the advantage. Dutch coach Louis van Gaal’s gambled and took a chance by calling in their substitute goalie to save the day, and save the day he did. Tim Krul did not let his boss down, saving two of the Costa Rican penalties to ensure that his side progressed and the wonderful run of the Central Americans came to an end.
This was an “underdog” of a move: Coach van Gaal decided that the taller, long-armed Krul would be a better bet if it came to a penalty shootout, so he told Krul in advance but mentioned nothing to the starting goalie, Jasper Cillessen, so that he would not be ”disappointed” before the game. But according to sports writer Daniel Storey, the fact remains however, that Krul’s penalty-saving record is less than auspicious – he has kept out just two of 20 penalty kicks faced in his last five years of domestic football for Newcastle United. http://www1.skysports.com/FIFA-World-Cup-2014/news/15241/9373147/world-cup-louis-van-gaals-decision-to-bring-on-tim-krul-against-costa-rica-was-typical-of-the-mans-approach
And so the moral of the story is this: “Blessed are the Underdogs.” It’s all about the team, no one player is more important than any other, and it’s the little things that really count. The moral of the story is that sometimes we need to take a calculated risk; sometimes we need to take an educated guess, because doing the little things can make all the difference in the game and in the world.