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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Quick Book Review and A PS on Lessons in Losing

As I have established, we play a lot of sports in this family.  We have lots of wins and lots of losses.  I have written here about losing and how I know there are important lessons for my boys to learn when they lose because they will lose and they will lose often. I think I've also established that in our house, ESPN is on a lot, so we get a glimpse on a daily basis of lots of athletes winning and losing and lots of athletes handling their fortunes differently.  I know that no matter how hard I try to point out that athletes are just regular, old human beings with irregular gifts and that they make mistakes, my boys will look to athletes as their role models and I will continue to change the channel on some of those guys and turn up the volume on some of them. There is one Youtube video that I can go to when I want my kids to understand how to lose with class and with dignity.  My Texas people will not be surprised to find that this video is of a Longhorn from the greatest university on the planet.   And if you've read this blog at all you know I have been reading a book by this guy and his dad called Growing up Colt: A Father, A Son, A Life in Football.   I gave it to Joe for his birthday and he read it and then my husband read it and I just finished it.  It is a look into a life where God, family, humility and plain, old hard work took priority.  It is a refreshing story of a boy who recognized the gift that God gave him and who worked hard at preserving and honing that gift and then gave all of the glory that the gift brought to him back to God.  So, like I said before, if you love football or the Texas Longhorns or Jesus or if you can simply read words and if you want a book for your kids about a young man who is, in my humble opinion, doing things right, go get this book.

Before I link to the video, here's a little background on our guy, Colt.  Colt McCoy is the winningest college football player in history (oh, man...Wikipedia says someone broke his record and to that I say a word I tell my kids not to say...whatever.) On January 7, 2010, which happened to be my 15th wedding anniversary and my middle son's 9th birthday, he was about to complete a perfect season and my perfect day.  He was ready to lead the greatest team on the planet to the National Championship title and things were starting perfectly, when suddenly he got hurt with an injury that took him out of the most important game of his life with 11:28 left in the 1st quarter.  The. 1st. quarter.  Y'all, I had not even filled up the bowls with Texas chili yet at my "We're Going to Win the National Championship" shindig.  Can you tell that  almost 3 years later, I still have emotional issues with this?  When it happened I was sitting on my couch in my Longhorn gear with my Longhorn cup and my husband was in his Longhorn gear and my children were all wearing their #12 jerseys.  And I when I realized that Colt was not coming back in the game, I'm pretty sure I looked at my husband with the same face that Rose had when she looked at Jack when the Titanic started sinking.  For many weeks afterwards (ok, even to this very day) I would just be sad when I was driving or eating or breathing and I wouldn't be able to put my finger on the problem.  It would be like there was just a black cloud hanging over me...or maybe the cloud was actually crimson, as in the Crimson Tide, and then I'd remember:  Oh, yea.  Colt got hurt with 11:28 left in the 1st quarter.  The. 1st. quarter. And then we lost.  (Yes, we, as if my 41 -year-old-5-foot-2-inch-self was suited up in pads and a helmet that night.) 

Let me tell you, this 23 year old kid handled this loss much better than I did. Listen to this boy deal with not only losing the biggest game of his life, but with not even being able to play with his team in the biggest game of his life.  In the book his dad recalled that his cell phone blew up with messages praising Colt's words after this interview and when he questioned his son about what he had said, Colt didn't know the answer. He says he left the Rose Bowl that night having no idea what he had said to the reporter.  Hello, Holy Spirit? Welcome to Pasadena. Colt needed You and You showed up.
PS Hook 'Em Horns and Go Browns.  Yep, Dallas Cowboys, that is what I said:  Go Browns. (Oh great, my husband tells me that there is some other guy that might get the starting QB position for the Browns this season.  Again, I'll say it:  whatever.)
Watch the interview clip here.

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