Three football games in three days. That was the tournament schedule for our youngest son this weekend. After winning the first two games to qualify for the championship, they faced their final opponent yesterday afternoon.
Unfortunately, that game was not without controversy. Throughout the three game spectacle, we experienced the myriad emotions we humans posses and saw people at their finest and their worst.
The first game was a blow out, with the other team not able to score at all. Our boys channelled their nervous energy into great playing on the field. Though the victory was sweet, the game did not have the intensity of a closely fought game.
The second game was tense from the first kickoff that the other team returned for a touchdown. It was a close game that went down to the final seconds and we won by only one point. Emotions were running high and there was great jubilance on our side of the field as this victory qualified our team to play in the final game.
The Championship game was a good competition between two well-trained teams. But in the end, the opposing team had penalties that resulted in two touchdowns being called back. The referees were fair, the opposing coaches were livid, and poor sportsmanship became an unwelcome visitor to the game. It soured the victory. Though the joy of winning was marred by those incidents, our team kept to its high standards of good sportsmanship. I wish I could say the same for some of the parents in the stands.
This Championship victory was a great accomplishment for our team, and there are moments these boys will remember for all of their lives. They became a team, learned how to work together to achieve a goal and trained their bodies and their minds to accomplish the task.
Sounds a lot like life in the long run.
Do you ever feel sorry for the ones who don’t win? Of course in any competition, there has to be a victor and a runner-up, and oftentimes not much separates the two except one has achieved just a little bit more, run a little faster or scored that extra point.
I think the real victory is in personal growth, in challenging one’s own body and realizing what you are capable of achieving.
On a team, friendships are made that last long after the the last game is played. And the honor of living your principles and fighting the good fight ignites confidence that carries far beyond the football field or the final score.
Applying those qualities to your life makes everyone a victor. Congratulations to all!