Football coach's words
tackle life's challenges
November 21, 2007
Two mile markers have occurred this weekend on my life journey. Since they happened so close to each other, they have meshed into one perspective.
The first was that I had to type my column on someone's old but barely used, state-of-the-art Smith Corona typewriter, and while I'm sure it was at one time a big step up from the old manual, it made me realize how much I had come to rely on my computer, which is having issues right now. While still relatively unfamiliar with the inner workings of that amazing electronic and technical tool, I have managed to make it do what I need it to do from week to week, and typed up the column on this fairly obsolete machine with a great deal of consternation and frustration at not being able to move words and entire paragraphs around with ease.
But, I did it, adding a note of apology to proofreaders who were going to have their work cut out for them this week.
Then I sat down to finish the last couple of chapters of the book, Quiet Strength, which I began months ago and am really enjoying except that most of it is written in what to me is a foreign language (football).
When I had finished reading about the conference championship game which won the Colts a run for the Super Bowl and read about Coach Tony Dungy's reflections as he prepared to say something to the crowds in the stands, I knew I needed to re-do the article and add in some of what he was thinking and also a little of what he said.
"So full of emotion,'' he said, "I was having trouble grasping the achievement...''
He thought back over losses to the Patriots in the past. He thought back to cleaning out his office in Tampa, wondering whether he'd ever coach again. He thought of not getting any interviews in 1993. He thought of his wife and children, one of whom he had lost recently to suicide. He thought of his parents, whose deaths were also still fresh and painful.
"A long journey. The Lord had made this journey so awesome, even all of its disappointments. It was incredibly emotional, thinking about all we'd come through together.''
"It was the thought of the journey that was uppermost...and the way we had persevered through it all. Staying the course."
There was more, but what he said on the podium which is still reverberating in my head and which I need to share is this paragraph: "We have a great group of guys who are very unified. But I think God orchestrated this in such a way that we can't take credit for it. We just want to thank Him for giving us the strength to persevere."
Along with my thanks for the computer, which I don't understand, but will be very thankful for once the issues it has right now are resolved, and my thanks for family, home, and freedom, I thought Coach Dungy's words intertwined with my thoughts in such a way that I could pass them on to the rest of you as a Thanksgiving week thought.
Blessings to you and yours as you pause this week to reflect.