I am not known for my vast knowledge of sportstering. But I do like a good story.
Purpleville has just welcomed a new head football coach. After one of the most quietly influential on- and off-field leaders recently retired, the search and buzz was on for who will be the guy who follows the guy. I’m no armchair quarter-hitter, but even I know this was going to be interesting.
Names were tossed about, histories, predictions, photos of Coach McDreamy and even the word “pedigree.” (This is where my left eyebrow arches.)
We, all, knew that our outgoing gridiron guy was going to be a tough man to follow. Soon, a gravely-voiced coach from one of the Dakotas was named the new guy. He would swap his green for purple and fly to Manhappiness to meet the team. In my mind, that was nice and, “next!”
But then I began to see #WinTheDangDay firmly planted across the purple-tinted social media.
And I watched the new guy talk to a room full of young men unsure whether this is what they signed up for – to play for one yet-known man when they had signed to hit the field with a legendary coach.
One standout player later commented about how sometimes you lose focus and faith and the right word at the right time can have you ready to “run through a brick wall” (is that a special play of football like the hail mary and hell no?).
Was it fancy speech, schveet swag and shock and awe that inspired this kid…young man? New sparkly uniforms and special sportstering feats of strength? Trash talking the other team? Nope. It was an eloquence borne in sincerity, by a guy who seems to want to honor the promises the last man made to a room of young men facing an uncertain future…and finals.
Win the dang day.
Seize the day.
Don’t give up.
Keep calm and carry on.
It takes an everyday man – an everyday person – to speak plainly and clearly to resonate a worthy vision and shake others out of uncertainty, fear and resistance. To help forge courage to the sticking place and turn the heart from “hell no” to “all in.”
We know people like this.
Many of you are people like this.
You have been that person to me and so many others.
You see the flagging hope, the resignation and the very real fear. You see the people on the other side of that sad soup and you speak life into them. Most often, without trying to say or do something Twitter-worthy.
For it is the greatest leaders among us, who inspire without manipulation. Who call people forth into their own strength and wisdom rather than stir people into a sub-human froth and frenzy. Be that guy. Be that woman or kid or person for yourself and the people you meander across.
Whether you are looking over faces of the uncertain or are one who is treading water in the deep blue sea of grief, overwhelm, fear, finals or a war of any kind – don’t give up.
We see you.
You are seen. And I believe you will find a way to win the dang day your way in your world.
Ask for help. Offer a hand. Speak only truth.
Believe you are worth the effort.
Never Never Never give up.
I see you. And you are worth the work required to win the dang day.
I see you.
Love, Your pal, Al.