I’m not gonna lie, I’m feeling disappointed tonight. Born in
For Sean Payton, as much as I believe the Buccaneers will always be the best in the NFC South, you’ve given the gift of Faith to those Saints’ fans. For Reggie Bush, as much as that taunting is unnecessary, you are everything that hype said you would be. For Brian Urlacher, as much as you’re disappointed at this moment, this city commends your strength and devotion to this team… you’ll get your day. For Peyton Manning, as much as I’ve been upset with you, real players show up on Sunday.
In retrospect, we were outplayed today. It’s not something we did specifically wrong, we were beaten… we didn’t beat ourselves. Yeah sure, those turnovers I’d like to have back, but the Colts had just as many. If you want to blame it on Rex, sure you can, but maybe it was the Bob Sanders that picked that one out of the air… or Kelvin Hayden, who dreamt about it last night, and gets his time to shine. If you want to blame it on the rain, remember that they played on the same field.
Adversity is defined by the trials we go through and result at the end of the game. When its clutch, the real players (and fans, for that matter) show up. Sometimes I find myself asking if I have the strength to see my dreams through. Not many people know this, and I still am a bit hesitant to say it, but I was named after Carl Lewis… the four time gold medalist in the 1984 Olympics. A champion in his own right… I feel the pressure to perform every time my name is called. I find myself asking “Can I run this race?”***
On the flipside of this season is another lesson. Tom Brady is a champion, that’s a fact, but against the Colts—he threw a pick to end his team’s season. Earlier in the year, the Bears beat the Cardinals on a Monday night finale that rewrote the history books… tonight; the Bears fell in a deficit they could not overcome. You can’t always pull it out in the end; I’ve learned this the hard way… (And no, not by watching football)
At the end of it all, there are always two things about football I love. One, real players show up when their number is called. Two, pulling it out at the end is a last resort (“Hail Mary’s” have the lowest percentage of completion in any coach’s playbook.)