Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Better for the Effort"

It has been a while since Billy Joel blared in the background as the latest Pep Talk transferred from cranium to computer to you. I hope you find value in the messages. I sure enjoy writing thoughts about life and encouraging you and self, despite inevitable challenges, to play like champions - home, work and elsewhere.
My mind wanders to earlier this warm, almost hot, 2012 Centennial State day. It happens to be Cinco de Mayo. Did you know, at least according to, under Latin American history, the holiday commemorating an improbable 1862 Mexican war victory, is celebrated more in America than Mexico. As the old saying goes, “Truth is stranger than fiction” sometimes, right?
Anyway, back to the story, perched upon bicycle I’m rolling downhill into Cherry Creek North for lunch with a dear friend, financial advisor and life mentor - a father figure. I admire him greatly. A few minutes before embarking on this five-minute spinI had put on the favorite weekend “at least he took a shower” golf shirt in anticipation of our meeting. It’s blue and comfy and proclaims “Louisiana College.” I love this shirt for comfort - physically and emotionally. Another of your humble correspondent’s stellar mentors coaches football at the small liberal arts school in Pineville, Louisiana. He’s coached me, and thousands of other young men, in more than 50 years of prep and collegiate coaching.
These two men have always encouraged and supported my dreams and the dreams of many others. I love and value their friendship and want to inform them, considering, unfortunately, we never know when it might be too late to express such feelings.
Football lost a special person this past week when Junior Seau terminated life with a shotgun blast to his heart. The future Hall-of-Fame linebacker starred for the San Diego Chargers and later played for Miami and New England in a 20-year career. He was admired by teammates, coaches, executives, fans and community. One of those “charge from the fox hole” kinda guys a buddy, Billy Mac from Hackensack, likes to talk about over mud and water.
Watching the 12-time Pro Bowler’s grieving family, teammates and community pour their souls into testimonies rattled skeleton and chilled marrow concerning a prevalent theme: the apparent lack of knowledge to the 43-year-old’s desperation and despair.  Grown men; big, strong and tough football players weeping, along with Seau’s heartbroken mother and others, often stating, “I wish I would have known. I would have reached out to him.”
Who knows if it would have made any difference in this instance. I think we all have had, and will continue to experience, these types of situations. Those moments in life, rarely joyful, when we look back upon painful experiences and admit, “If I would have done this.....”
The CU Buffs won three straight Big 8 football titles from 1989-91. Colorado also won its only national championship in that time frame, the greatest run in school history. Each of those terrific teams had the same starting quarterback. Darian Hagan. Today he’s the school’s recruiting coordinator. In the hearts of many Buffs to the bone, #3 will always be “Mr. Magic.” 
Anyway, during his playing days, after a Buffs victory one year back when covering the team, I recall asking the California native a question about an interception he threw. I’ll never forget the cat-quick quarterback’s response concerning not playing the “if” game:  “You can’t count on ‘ifs’ because ‘ifs’ are no good.”
Amen to that brother. This week let’s remember Hagan’s wise words and the powerful visual reminders of indescribable grief associated with tragic loss. Let’s try like heck to have our reticular activating system on high alert for someone near and dear to our hearts who might be discouraged right now. 
Let’s promise one another to call, write or visit - no texting or emailing allowed - one person who needs to feel our loving and encouraging touch. Who knows, it might give them hope and confidence to weather the storm. Maybe it won’t. This much I do know, we’ll be better from the effort.
Have a good week!

No comments:

facebook metwitter
linkd in

Hey Comeback Coach Copyright© 2009

About The Comeback Coach | Contact Us | Links | Privacy Statement