The Poetry of Sports

football-dark

Football

Football is a sport,
for those who are tough.
It’s not easy,
but rather quite rough.

It offers,
It’s share of bruises and pain,
When you get hit,
it can feel like a train.

Protecting each other,
with the art of the block.
In the huddle,
keep your eyes on the clock.

Coaches yell out,
intricate plays,
To gain hard earned yards,
there’s so many ways.

It’s all about the endzone,
how far and how near,
The closer you get,
your opponents gain fear.

Football revolves,
around the whole team,
A win is the sole purpose,
and ultimate dream.

by anitapoems.com

 

And such is life. 

Don’t Give The Game Away

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Did You See The Game? I did.

I watched the Michigan / Ohio State game yesterday. If you missed it, you missed a treat. It was a great win and a horrible loss both at the same time. Yes, it was a great win for Ohio State to come from behind and beat their archrivals 30 -27 in DOUBLE OT, at home, again. And it was a horrible, almost unspeakable loss.

One sportswriter put it this way:

“There is simply too much pain to process. Losing to Ohio State? Losing in double overtime? Losing with some controversy? Losing the Big Ten East Division? Losing a shot at the Playoff? It’s almost overwhelming. Michigan will bounce back under Jim Harbaugh — and very likely be right there for the 2017 national title — but this loss will sting all offseason. Then again, maybe there’s room for Michigan to make a national semifinal in 2016?”

Michigan had the game in the bag. I mean the game was won and the Michigan Quarterback Wilton Speight and the referees game it away. Yes it was a great game because it had everything: it had defense and turnovers and missed field goals and a pick-six and fourth and inches and a first down controversy in double overtime.

If you didn’t catch yesterday’s game, you missed one of the best regular season college games in college football history Michigan, the better team, had Ohio State on the ropes for most of the game, then choose to gift the game back to the Buckeyes down the stretch. Ohio State wouldn’t have even been in the game had it not been for the interceptions that the Michigan QB gave them. Wow.

Coach Jim Harbaugh has every right to be mad, but the first person he needs to be mad with is himself. He lost his cool and it cost his team five critical yards late in the game when the defense needed to keep the Buckeyes out of the end zone. They did not.

We lead by example. A long time ago someone said, monkey see, monkey do. And the team saw their coach lose his composure, and then they went on to lose the game in typical Michigan, meltdown fashion (the Wolverines have lost five straight to Ohio State at the Horseshoe).

“Outrageous,” Harbaugh said at one point, describing the officiating that he thought cost his Wolverines the game at Ohio State Saturday afternoon. Maybe it did. Maybe it didn’t. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how you handle a brutal loss when you speak to the public. What matters is what you show them. Harbaugh didn’t show much grace.

His senior defensive lineman, however, Chris Wormley, did. “There’s a few calls that I thought could go either way,” he said. “You’ve got to play through those types of calls, handle adversity.” Yes, you do.

And so the lesson is almost lyrical: you may lose and you may fail and you may suffer loss, but don’t give it away. Don’t lose your cool or lose your head or lose your composure. Your opponent may try to grab it or seize it or snatch it or even steal it, but DO NOT give it away.  And that’s just what the Michigan coach and the Michigan team did yesterday.

 

Ohio State vs. Michigan: Impose Your Will

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It doesn’t get any bigger than this. The season and a shot at the championship are on the line.  For these two pigskin powerhouses and football juggernauts, it’s time for the big game against their arch rival. So just about everything that really counts is up for grabs. The annual clash between these rivals means even more this year as the winner is likely to end up in the College Football Playoffs.

It just doesn’t get any bigger than this. In order to win, one team must impose their will and their way upon their opponent.

It doesn’t get any better than Michigan vs. Ohio State @ the Horseshoe. Pre-game and pre first snap, we are asking ourselves and each other these eternal questions: who will prevail? Who will succeed and triumph? Who will impose their way and emerge victorious?  These immortal questions emerge at the initiation of every athletic encounter. And they also surface before every season and afore every game and as we face every down and as we prepare for every play of our lives.

It just doesn’t get any better than this. This pivotal, punctual, national pastime of a matchup will answer questions that beg for answers. And the correlation for you and I is this: will we impose our will over the will of our emotions and feelings and sensations? Can we overcome our dark passions and secret sensations and vile vexations in order to achieve our goals?

We must. And with the help of Heaven, we will. Failure is not an option. And yet if we fail to succeed (this time), we must get back up and get back going, again.  

The Boys Are Back!  a.k.a., The Dallas Cowboys Will Win The Super Bowl (This Year!)

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Yes they will. There. I said it. Yes I’m a Dallas hater, but I’m also a sports lover. And Dallas looks really, really good right about now. The Boys are 9-1, and have just completed impressive wins against the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers. While I don’t want to get carried away, I don’t see why we can’t face facts either. I call it like I see it.  And the way I see it, if this team stays healthy and hungry and fixated and focused, there’s no reason they can’t go all the way.

This resurgent, rookie lead, runaway train of a team has all of the pieces and the parts and the elements and the ingredients of a  championship team.  They have chemistry and comrade and weapons and they’re on a warpath. So who’s going to beat ‘em? Who’s going to stop ’em? Who’s better than Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescot and Dez Bryant right now? Anybody?  Right now, the only team that can beat Dallas is Dallas. That’s it. And that “right now” may well hold true right through the Super Bowl.

The same goes for you too. You and I have all of the same stuff that Dallas has. Maybe not right now, but somewhere along the way, you and I will reach a point where you know that the only thing that can stop you is you. 

So, mark my words: in late January, and early in February, you’ll be saying that Dave got it right.

Terps Upset Hoyas 76 -75!

trimble-turgeon

I just watched my University of Maryland Men’s Basketball team come from behind to defeat Georgetown 76-75 in one of the most exciting and exhilarating and excruciating comeback wins ever. They played on the Hoya’s home court, the Verizon Center in D.C.,  in front of a raucous, partisan co-ed crowd. But no worries. With Melo Trimble breaking in the freshmen Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, the Terps did not quit.

Maryland was down by 11 with one minute remaining. Yet the once in charge, haughty and once heady Hoyas literally lost it and made one mistake after another; and Maryland capitalized and converted when it mattered most. The Terps got a big – no, a HUGE win; one that they would have lost not long ago.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon told a sports reporter earlier today that the Terps have a ways to go. I watched the entire game, and yes they do. They’re young and youthful and patchy and scratchy. But I’ll take ‘em because they’re my Terps.

They say that a win is a win is a win; that’s true most of the time. But sometimes, some wins are bigger than others. Let’s just say that this comeback win over Georgetown tonight was bigger than life as it will certainly speed up that growth process quite a bit.

It’s great that Maryland and Georgetown are playing again. And it’s even better that my Terps won tonight, when all game they weren’t playing their best. But down the stretch and in the end they found some zest and pulled out an amazing and awesome win.

I told my wife that Maryland is not that good – but they’re not that bad either.

Squeeze Every Possible Ounce Of Joy (Out Of Each Day)

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You need people in your life that will make your unborn baby jump. And I just had a conversation with someone who did just that for me. For those who don’t understand the reference, here it is:

Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:39-41 New Living Translation

In other words, when the Virgin Mary learned she was pregnant, she went to see her cousin, Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. When Mary arrived, the sound of her voice caused unborn baby John to jump for joy in his mother’s womb.

Our victories are not won in a vacuum or in isolation. Our expected babies are not born without the knowledge of our family and friends. They are won and they are born in community and in society. We don’t win alone. We always have help.  Always. And today my carpooler gave me a boost and a bump and a lift and a push and a prod upward and forward. It was just what the doctor ordered.

You see, one of my goals is to teach college, and to do that I need to obtain my doctorate. I have an MDiv, or a Master of Divinity degree, but I also need at least a DMin, or a Doctorate of Ministry degree. Teaching includes mentoring and shepherding and counseling and guiding the next generation. And this is my passion. Well …

My carpool driver today is a very special lady. And I’m not just saying that.  I ride with different carpoolers every day. I live in Northern Virginia and “Slug” up I-95 to work (and for those who have no idea what slugging is or means, I’ll write more on that later). Anyway, I carpool or “slug” to work and so I meet a lot of people. I’ve slugged with this one carpool driver only once before. It was about a month ago and we had a wonderful ride home in awful traffic. How ironic, right?

Well, today I was fortunate enough to meet up with her again. And I had another wonderful ride and we had another delightful discussion all the way down I-95 from the Pentagon. It was such a treat. And since I “know” people, I know that you don’t meet and greet a great treasure of a person like my driver today every day.

You see, through the conversation, I learned that my driver has a PhD in Physics. I said physics. And she doesn’t sound like an old ogre either. I bombed physics in high school AND college, so I don’t have many  – or any –  fond memories of my time in the classroom being beset and besieged by my hard-nosed, old fogey physics instructors. But surely I digress.

A PhD in physics is not a degree given to the faint of heart. So when I got in my carpoolers car and realized that she was my carpool comrade from about a month ago, my heart smiled. And then as the conversation commenced and consumed, and I learned of her competence and her excellence, my immediate goal was to squeeze every ounce of joy out of that carpool ride and that blessed exchange. 

My carpool comrade gave me the thought for this blog. She said “you need to squeeze every ounce of joy out of each day.”  What an amazing thought! So that’s it; we should do this every day. We should squeeze every ounce of joy out of every day.

So what’s the lesson? It’s simply this: when a Dr. is in the house (or in the car), make sure you squeeze every ounce of joy out of the moment. Remember, as much as we all need a doctor, at times, as unfit as we may think we are, we just may be someone else’s doctor.  Dr. or patient, be sure to prescribe or procure the right medicine for what ails you.

jumpforjoy

And the prescription is always joy.

Trump Just “Trumped” Them All

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The unbelievable, inconceivable, almost unimaginable has happened. Donald Trump just pulled off one of the biggest upsets of all time.  Donald Trump is now the president elect, and I humbly have to state that I did say that this could happen.  Just check my blog from LAST August! https://godandsports.net/2015/08/19/the-donald-may-trump-them-all/ I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the 2016 presidential election just yet, but suffice it to say, the Donald has Trumped them all.

It’s so astounding that it’s worth repeating . . .

Donald Trump won the election for president. Of the United States. Of America. And in case you haven’t thought this through, as volatile and visceral as he’s been in the past, the fact that he ran is not the big news. The fact — and now it’s a fact that’s settling in — that Trump actually WON the White House and he will be the leader of the free world for at least the next four years, is even more jolting and jarring, at least for some of us. Trump came out of the early Republican Candidates Debate as the front-runner. That’s right. Trump actually took the lead and lead the pack — and it was certainly a pitiful pack of possibles at that —  in August of 2015- with 25% of the vote, according to some sources.

“Bloomberg Politics Managing Editor Mark Halperin stated that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has ‘reached a turning point’ where the ‘establishment candidates’ think he can win Iowa; ‘most’ believe he can win the nomination, and ‘a significant number think he could win the White House.’ ” Of all the paltry possibles running, Trump may in fact trump them all.

 And “The Donald” has trumped us all.  He’s pulling no punches and taking no prisoners.  And since politics is a blood sport, we certainly saw much of his brash, brazen, bravado until the final whistle sounded and the last ballot was tallied on the day and night and morning after the election..

Donald Trump is the ELECTED president of these United States. So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, it’s important to know that sports and politics are similar and the same. Politics is like baseball because the season is long and the race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Politics is like football because the ball, or the focus of the “game,” has an uncanny tendency to bounce in a funny way. Politics is like basketball because you need to play all four quarters; winning the first half doesn’t necessarily mean that you will win the game, which can be won and lost in the last two minutes. And politics is like hockey; you have to be strong and be able to take a hit.

Politics is like sports and sports are like politics. You don’t know who is going to win, so that’s why you play the games and keep score.  As Hilary Clinton and all of the rest of America has just learned, anything can happen to change the race between the begining and Election Day, 2016. 

And so the lesson is this: if the believers who still believe that God’s got the whole world in his hands will just believe Him and stop putting their faith in a man, or a woman, and stop telling Heaven who should be in the White House, then our faith in Him will carry us through.