Coming off of last nights’ big Super Bowl game, I figured it was only proper to share a football story in this week’s blog. I played football from 5th grade all the way up to senior year. To say it was a huge factor in making me the young man I am today would be an understatement. Playing football was always more than just a game to me, it was an easy reflection of how life can be at sometimes. My fall weeks were filled with practice, film, and more practice. Football was a game of passion for me and that’s the main reason I stuck with it for so long. As much as I loved it, there were days at school that truly just sucked. I wanted nothing more than to skip practice and head straight out to the parking lot to pack up for the day, but I knew my team and myself were going to hold me accountable to attend practice. On days like that, the moment I tied my cleats my mind went into a meditation. Everything was clear, concise, and had a purpose; which is why I was always caught off guard during a halftime speech my senior year.
We were down by a number I don’t quite remember during one of my final games as a high schooler, when our coach stood up in the ag shop to begin our halftime speech. I remember him talking about shaking off the bad plays and getting out there to play like the score is 0-0. That made no sense. Why wouldn’t we match our performance to the score? If we were up, take it slow and steady. If we were down, put our nose to the grindstone and make up for what we’ve lost. It seemed simple, yet coach was contradicting that whole idea. Play like the score is 0-0. I thought on it when we got back on the field. I imagined the scoreboard broadcasting double goose eggs and it all made sense. I didn’t feel comfortable giving up if all I needed was one score to get ahead. The idea of putting the negative feeling of being down by so much to the side was empowering. It’s as if that mentality made the game seem easier. After a long-fought battle, we ended up victorious.
It’s a lot easier to give up in our lives if we have a constant reminder of everything that goes wrong for us. We can make more excuses and have more reasons to quit as long as we have the score to back us up. We have to play life like the score is 0-0 in the game of Me vs. The Universe. The biggest encouragement in times of oppression is to play with a clean slate. Each score in our favor starts to mean a lot more when we’ve never been scored on. We got to see this last night at Super bowl LIV. When down by 10 points at halftime, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to play like the score was 0-0 and win by 11 points. When we find ourselves losing our game, zero the score. We have to wake up the next day with a mindset to win. It’s the quickest way to success in this game we call life. -Nate Fairchild