I am not a Clemson fan. In fact, I am the exact opposite of a Clemson fan – I am a part of the Gamecock Nation. I bleed garnet and black and when the Gamecocks don’t play I pull for whatever SEC team is playing. Okay, for those of you who cannot stand football, don’t leave, this isn’t a football post; and for you Clemson people keep reading, this Gamecock has some nice things to say about your team. This is a post on witnessing how sheer will and determination can make anything happen. It is not often we get to witness first hand how dreams can be achieved by simply wanting it more, having the desire, drive, will, determination, and doing the work it takes to get it done.
No, I’m not saying the Tigers won the National Championship based on luck, or that they didn’t deserve to be playing in the game. Nor am I any sort of analyst, spending time reviewing plays and making hypothesis on who will win and by how much based on the data. (I will admit to being a “sofa coach” with a strategy of: throw the football, catch the football, run with the football. Hubs just shakes his head as I am calling plays, but whatever.) My thoughts are simply based on what I witnessed with my own two eyes based on what the television cameras relayed to me last night. They played hard, they played the whole game regardless of they were up or down they continued to play with the attitude of we came to win. It almost seemed that it didn’t occur to them that they could lose; it wasn’t cocky it was the decision they had made and the goal they had set. They were a different team that they had been in this same position one year before.
In the days leading to the game, the hype built as it tends to do, fans of the two teams were each determined their team would win, and the rest of the football fandom chose to either jump on the bandwagon of one of the teams for various reasons or to just simply watch the game to see what happened. The analysts, crunched their numbers and weighed in, and these two teams were pretty well matched. Both had played a good season, worked hard, and deserved to be playing the National Championship game.
Now y’all, I am a kickoff, second half of the second quarter, and fourth quarter gal. During the rest of the game, I can be found wandering around, focused on some sort of task, and occationally checking the score. This game was no different, but as it does in many cases there was a smidge of regret when I returned to my coaching position in the fourth quarter and realized I had missed something since the score was significantly higher and closer than it was when I left – but I digress.
What happened in the next 15 minutes (okay, hour) will be talked about until August for many, next January for others, and a lifetime for some – not only did those watching see an amazing and exciting game, they saw a team channel every bit of energy, determination, desire, and sheer will to do the job needed to win the game. The most intriguing part from where I sat was not what was happening on the field, but the look on the faces of the Clemson players when Alabama scored with roughly 4 minutes to go, now many of us were thinking okay overtime – tie it up and none of us are going to bed anytime soon but that wasn’t the plan for these players – the looks on their faces was one of okay what do we need to do to win there was no look of anger, or frustration, it was one of we can do this, let’s go.
I cannot imagine how exhausted all of those kids must have been, they had been playing for well over 4 hours at that point, after what had been several full days of perperation and events finally culminating in a game that for many will be one of the biggest events of their lives. And well, ther rest is sports history.
The new year is a good time to take a good look at yourself and your life. I’m not a big fan resolutions to “change oneself” – I am a goal setter, constantly revising my goals as needed based on where I am and what has been happening in my world. I have also found myself in a rut recently; perhaps you have too – if so, watch the last few minutes of the fourth quarter of this game, and don’t just watch the game watch the faces of the players.
So thanks Clemson Tigers, for one heck of a game, and an awesome reminder of how to truly win. Enjoy your moment, you’ve earned it.