In this life, you have to survive the ground. In order to survive the ground, you first have to learn how to survive the ground. Learning isn’t always quick and easy or fun and pleasant. Learning comes with bumps and bruises and scratches and scrapes. Just ask the Pittsburg Steelers. And that’s why Jessie James, Ben Roethlisberger, and Coach Mike Tomlin, who looks just like Mike Epps, are licking their wounds and bidding their time until they meet the New England Patriots again, perhaps in the 2018 AFC Championship game?
In Sunday’s clash with the vaunted Patriots, Pittsburgh Steeler’s tight end Jesse James absolutely, positively seemed like he caught the ball seconds before the end of regulation at the goal line. In fact, Jesse James did not catch the game-winning touchdown against the New England Patriots. “The catch rule, as we all know and hate it, declares clearly that a player going to the ground while making a catch must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of going to the ground.
When you watch the play, you see James diving for the ball. As he lunged across the goal line, the ball fell to the ground. Before James could gain possession, Patriots defensive back Duron Harmon dove on his back to render him down and the play over.
Very clearly and simply, James did not maintain control of the ball throughout the process. In other words, the catch did not survive the ground. Here’s how it appears in the NFL rulebook:
“A player who goes to the ground in the process of attempting to secure possession of a loose ball (with or without contact by an opponent) must maintain control of the ball until after his initial contact with the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, there is no possession.” http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/262186/the-nfl-catch-rule-has-issues-but-steelers-survive-the-ground-call-was-right
And that’s what we’ve all got to learn. We’ve got to learn how to survive the ground. Sometimes we get knocked down and pushed down and even thrown down, but we’ve got to survive the ground. We can’t let a fall or a push or a shove hamper our hopes or dislodge our dreams. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but we can’t let names or slurs or insults or false accusations hurt us to the point that we lose a firm hold on what Heaven has promised us. Maintain possession. Lay hold to your hopes and don’t let go of your dreams.
So survive the ground. Get back up and get back going. Don’t let a little slip or a trifle trip endanger your destiny.