By Rob Holt aka robholt91

It’s fourth and inches, with the game clock winding down twenty to seventeen. Your team is up by three and every part of your body is screaming “Win!” and in that split second, the snap. It’s a run, your team lined up for pass. He breaks one tackle, two, three, and the clock is running down. From ten to zero, from the fifteen to the goal line, your team’s playoff hopes were crushed. The 16 games of blood, sweat, and tears all seemingly down the drain. Why? By one simple error in judgment, the game clock on your season is over, but what if one game during the season could have changed it, if a call had gone differently, if an injury could have been avoided. A roster change, a whistle blown, or a coaching mismatch. We don’t ever seem to weigh every part of a season, but we always weigh it all on one game. One single call. One missed field goal. Why is that? We always love to put someone or something on the chopping block, but we never distinguish real fault. It’s never a lapse in judgment, an error in execution, or just a bad season. It’s the refs, the coaches, and whomever else we can point the finger at. Let’s just be thankful that our teams can play and put out a level of showmanship that is actually really remarkable. Let’s be excited for the next season and hope that it turns out better.

It seems these days that there is a lot of negativity in football. Seemingly endless bad press days for every single player, the media either praises or exiles someone new every day. There is no fairness anymore and a huge lack of respect. I’m not going to put any names in this, but I’ve seen a number of “sports analyst” harping on about how this player is the worst player ever or that player is the next so and so. Let’s appreciate these guys for who they are. There is no need to put someone in the dirt or the clouds, when most professional athletes (good or bad) are still more talented than your average Joe Schmo. We never fully take into account the athleticism that really makes the games we watch in ANY sport, not just football, a spectacle of human possibility. I think we forget how much time, determination, intelligence, and skill it takes to be a pro athlete. Learning complete playbooks, reading schemes, and just playing at a high level. There’s a reason athletes get paid so much money. Next time someone gets injured, there’s a bad call, or an error in play-calling, let’s all remember that every team has those games that everything goes against them. Every team has the good, the bad, and the ugly. The star draft picks that blow up and the guys who never even get started. Let’s stop slandering those who put their everything into becoming a pro athlete and fall just short of it.

Everyone out there is a human being, they want things to go their way, too. Everyone is pushing towards the same goal, but not everyone achieves it. There is so much based on who won this or that, but most personal feats are greats as well. I don’t mean we should give out ribbons to second place or a participation award, don’t get me wrong. I do, however, think we need to acknowledge that pulling out a winning season after so many bad ones is winning, coming back from a really bad injury is winning, and overcoming any other obstacle is winning. Those may not mean much to spectators, but for those athletes, the mini milestones pave the way for the bigger milestones. It’s always a sign of things to come. Be excited for the team becoming stronger and the victories ahead. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a good football team. The down and distance becomes a brighter goal once everyone is pulling together for a greater goal. We always mark those who didn’t see the playoffs as losers, but I think the teams who are pulling together are the real winners in any sport.