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Better to Have Tried and Lost…..?

I love the hype that goes with games of any sport.   The multi-faceted strategies to engage the fans, keep them excited, make sure they stay “focused”, and give them a night of great entertainment regardless of what happens on the field or court.  Management has pre-planned for special give away’s with the “right number on your program on page 6, or “watch the screen” for some fast fact that gives pride to the home team, or the “highlights of recent victories and super plays to get the fans in high gear before the game starts.  If fans could play as good as they yell, they would be in uniforms and be champs….in their humble but accurate opinions….!!!!

Truth is, enthusiasm is very motivating and excitement is surely much better than crowd silence in the stands.  But all of the enthusiasm in the world cannot make up the gap if a team is ill prepared or ill equipped to play well enough to win.  No matter how loud a crowd can shout, or how high cheerleaders can jump, or how many times the band can play the fight song, if a team is just plain “bad”, all of the hype is for naught.  But when skill is matched with great fan support, the opposition is intimidated to even enter the contest arena and many times has their confidence shaken before a game ever starts.

In 1930, in a small town, one high school seemed to lose all the football games they played against their arch rival from a neighboring school. The more important the game the worse they lost. Finally, a wealthy oil producer decided to take matters in his own hands. He asked to speak to the team in the locker room after yet another devastating defeat. What followed was one of the most fantastic football speeches of all times. This business man proceeded to offer a brand new Ford to every boy on the team and to each coach if they would simply defeat their bitter rivals in the next game. Knute Rockne couldn’t have said it better.

The team went crazy with sheer delight. They howled and cheered and slapped each other on their padded behinds. For seven days, the boys ate, drank and breathed football. At night they dreamed about touchdowns and rumble seats. The entire school caught the spirit of ecstasy, and a holiday fever pervaded the campus. Each player could visualize himself behind the wheel of a gorgeous coup, with eight gorgeous girls hanging all over his gorgeous body.

Finally, the big night arrived and the team assembled in the locker room. Excitement was at an unprecedented high. The coach made several inane comments and the boys hurried out to face the enemy. They assembled on the sidelines, put their hands together and shouted a simultaneous “Rah!” Then they ran onto the field and were demolished, 38 to zero.

The team’s exuberance did not translate into a single point on the scoreboard. Seven days of hooray and whoop-de-do simply couldn’t compensate for the players’ lack of discipline and conditioning and practice and study and coaching and drill and experience and character. Such is the nature of emotion. It can lead us not to truth but deceptions.  (copied).