Monday, September 1, 2008

in life and in football

Any Given sunday was on TV tonight and I had forgotten how much I liked it. I admit it is not a cinematic classic of our time, but it is full of well written quotes and perfectly executed one-liners. My previous lyrics post alluded to the universe throwing words at me when I need them the most. Tonight I didn't even know I was looking and yet there they were. Plus, I love a good "life vs. sports" analogy.

So here you go. Thanks Al Pacino for these little tidbits ...
"As you get older in life, stuff gets taken away from you. I mean that's a part of life. But you only learn that when you start losin' stuff. You find out that life's this game of inches, so if football. Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half step too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all those inches, that's gonna make the f*@%#ing difference between winning and losing!! Between living and dying!!

I'll tell you this, in any fight it's the guy whose willing to die whose gonna win that inch. And I know, if I'm gonna have any life anymore it's because I'm wiling to fight and die for that inch, because that's what living is, the six inches in front of your face."

I LOVE this. Sometimes, before we know it, too many inches have passed us by. We look up and we are literally further down the "field" of life, yet we haven't gained what we thought would be there waiting for us. We find ourselves still clawing for the inches. This day, this play, this decision ... it all counts. Nothing is for free. Nothing is insignificant. We may not see how it plays into the scheme of things right now or how it will ultimately manifest itself in our world, but it matters all the same. As the years keep flying by, I am becoming more aware that there are many things I should have fought harder for. Times I should have mustered more of my courage and pulled myself that one last inch to make "it" happen. There are certainly times I can look back on and proudly say I did whatever it took, but there are others that I must humbly recall and admit that I did not. Maybe someday I will be reassured that all the inches I pursued were the right ones and all those I let slip through my hands were worth letting go. I guess I won't truly know until I find myself in that place. Maybe never. I suppose that's to be expected. I assume we all strive for that assurance. That our best laid plans and good intentions were all good enough.

As for me I'm going to keep striving for that next inch. I hope they get me where I need to be. In life and in football everything you do effects the end result. Positive or negative. The actions, the thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the conversations, the friendships, the loves. For better or for worse ... it all counts.

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