Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tough to live with

I enjoy the holiday season. I particularly like the college bowl games. I'm sure I spend too much time watching them, but besides the game I like the stories we learn concerning players. There are always some issues that cause controversy, both on and off the field. There are also lessons to be learned that instruct us on how people have to live their lives.

Yesterday was "stinker" day. Most of the bowl games I've watched have been well played, highly contested, and some real spectacular plays. However there are always a few games that you wonder why the teams are there and what their purpose is? Yesterday was such a day. The University of South Carolina, coached by Steve Spurrier stunk up the field against UConn. However, during the season one of UConn's players was killed, number 6. When the Connecticut team entered the field of play one of the players was carrying the dead teammates jersey and it was prominently displayed for all to see. A fitting tribute to a fallen comrade. When the game was over and UConn had won the jersey was carried around the field in front of the cheering fans as a final tribute. Warriors all and well played. On the other hand USC stunk the field up. They showed none of the strength and skill they had displayed on the few occasions I watched them play during the season.

Then we get to Oklahoma State and Old Miss. Gad, neither team wanted to win. Right at the very end the defense for Old Miss scored a go ahead touchdown and then the team came back with another score making the game 21 - 7 Old Miss. But that happened right at the end of the game and until then both teams were ineffective, incompetent, and boring. It wasn't a tough, hard fought defensive battle. It was lackadaisical. Later in life the men who played in that game won't have much to relive. The Old Miss alum will be able to say they didn't play well, but they played well enough to win. I don't know what the OSU guys will recall. However, it was a day they collectively stunk up the field.

Arkansas and Eastern Carolina University could it get worse. The one significant situation concerns the ECU field goal kicker. Twice in regulation he had the opportunity to put the Pirates ahead with a field goal, he kicked wide left, then shanked it wide right. He had plenty of leg, just the wrong direction. Then the game goes into overtime. ECU losses the coin toss and Arkansas elects defense, which is the proper call in college overtime. ECU struggles, but comes up short. Finally on 4th down ECU tries another field goal. Surely if the kicker was wide left, then wide right he should've figured out the proper direction, but no, the ball is wide right. Arkansas makes their attempt, and finally kick a 37 yard field goal in overtime to win the game.

Just think of the FG kicker for ECU, and what he has to live with. He was a senior so there will be no chances to redeem himself. He will carry that thought of three missed field goals throughout life. While it should not greatly effect him, after all it is only a game, it will. At reunions, at gatherings, and late in the night when he should be sleeping the thought of how he let his team down will enter his mind. I hope he has the maturity to deal with it and not let it become an important factor in his life. After all, next year I won't recall that Arkansas beat East Carolina, it will fade from some of the fans memories. Hopefully all will have the maturity to treat it for what it was, a bad few moments in time that only decided a game, that's all a game.

So ended the "stink day." There'll be others.

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