What if your team played like you?
October 10th, 2013 by Agent Kevin Miller
In my hometown of Woodland Park, Colorado…Sunday’s during this time of year are devoted to the beloved Broncos. Especially with superhero Payton Manning at the helm.
I’ve read about the NFL being a passing game these days. Interesting, as back in the late 80s when I grew up on pro ball and had my 28 NFL team (is that the right number?) pencils, I remember so much about the running game. Guys like Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen, Walter Payton and Eric Dickerson churning it out, bouncing and bulling away!
But today…we want big passes, big yardage. A 3 yard run is boring, tedious and disappointing. We demand superhero like performance, or we’ll change the channel and watch superhero movies.
We want to view legendary acts. But…do we want to actually engage in such actions in our own lives?
We want the big play, the big score. And holy moly, the folks I know…nice, ‘Christian’, kind people, want freakin’ blood and NO MERCY! When Denver is up by 20 points, I’m bored and hoping the other team will score to provide some actual drama. But my friends are yelling, “Kill em! Score again! Mutilate em’! NO MERCY!”
I understand though. It’s in our DNA to want to be in a great story, which Donald Miller says is derived from “A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.” This is what sports is, and we long for “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” We long to feel, and we’ll take big positive OR big negative over mediocre.
So…let’s get a bit literal and uncomfortable.
What if our teams and the players we love…played like we do in our lives? What if they audited the last week, month or year of our lives and said…”We’ll play in this week’s game like [insert our name here] has played this week in his/her:
- Marriage & Relationships
- Dreams & Desires
- Health & Wellness
Before you discount this and say, “Hey, that’s not fair or relevant or reasonable,” just consider it.
Why do we sit on our coaches and yell for the players in the ball games, the drivers in the races, the guys in the ring and the characters in our TV shows and movies to
- Kick ass & take names!”
- “Take risks and don’t hold back!”
- “Leave it ALL on the field!”
- “Go for broke!”
To stick with the football analogy, we want them to go for it when it’s 4th and 1 instead of punt. We want the bomb pass. We want the runner to bounce and jive and keep going. We want balls out, radical pursuit of victory!
Why? Again…it’s how we are ALL wired.
Now before you pawn this writing off as a “Damn the torpedoes” motivational speech that doesn’t really relate to ‘real life’, it doesn’t discount wisdom and caution and safety and security.
The big teams and players
- Prepare passionately, methodically and scientifically,
- They strengthen and pad themselves,
- They wear their seat belts on the way to practice,
- They wash their clothes,
- They eat and sleep and take a crap,
- They save money,
- They do the mundane things of life.
But when it comes time to run out on the field to play and anything can happen, they are ALL OUT. Fully committed and willing to risk big to win big.
So how about us? Shouldn’t we all have a field of play where we are playing big. Where WE are the ”character who wants something and is willing to overcome conflict to get it.” Whether the quarterback leading the charge or the lineman in a support role…there is a place for everyone ON THE FIELD. Going after a big payoff. Money? Meaning?
Folks, I have nothing against sports or video games or tv and movies. They’re fun little activities. But when we submit to fulfilling our own nature vicariously through these things, we become irrelevant. I think this is the number one cause of addictions and depression in our culture.
I have no idea the true statistic, but when you include food and media, I’d guess 95% of our culture is technically engaged in a true addiction. We medicate the void.
It’s not working for us.
The world wants us to sit in our comfort and security and ‘responsibility’ and vicariously (and risk free) get our heart-wired jolt of life from a screen. To get out there on our own would be ludicrous. Irresponsible. Folly.
I mean really, do you have ANYONE in your life who would support you REALLY GOING FOR IT?! If it could possibly jeopardizing your job, your savings, your retirement, your equity, your personal safety or gasp…your marital relationship?!
Probably not. Which leaves you feeling alone and stupid in your contemplated quest, eh? I understand.
So what should you do? That’s what you’ve gotta figure out. I’m just asking the question, Would it be OK if your team, your players, your video game personas and your TV and movie characters started acting and playing like you are in your life? Does it make sense for you to totally play it safe in your personal life and feed your true nature with counterfeits?
I’m grappling with answering for myself.