Many of you could have kept your television sets off this weekend. Everyone knew New England would beat Texas. That there was a competitive game through halftime almost didn’t matter. Most people knew Atlanta would beat Seattle. Too much offense for not enough defense or so the refrain went.
If you lived in Dallas or anywhere outside of America you knew the Cowboys were going to defeat Green Bay. Las Vegas only gave the Cowboys a slightly better than average edge. The Packers were without their star receiver, Jordy Nelson. Their defense has been as porous at times as any. This was a game without hope – except it wasn’t.
One thing in that game kept the game winnable. It wasn’t the early 21 – 3 lead, it wasn’t a defense that got after the opposing rookie quarterback. It was the attitude. That attitude of winning is what America needs now as we face the inauguration of Donald Trump in a few days.
Donald Trump has spent more than eighteen months telling us Make America Great Again. He tell us to drain the swamp. He tells us to build a wall.
It’s been said great nations don’t build walls, they build bridges. In football, you don’t just sit back and wait behind a wall. You go out and get first downs on offense. Your defense goes out and gets the other side’s leader. They generally don’t just sit back and wait. Football, like politics, is a game of action; it is organized.
Hours spent in physical conditioning, video review, and practice each week. These hours are for three hours of game time. There is a lesson here on preparation we need to take to heart. Citizenship is not a once a year event where we vote and walk away. Citizenship requires practice, it requires engagement.
If you voted for Hillary Clinton or Evan McMullin and think your work is done, you lost. You are like the twenty-eight NFL teams who are golfing now. Voting is important, but it is one day. Championships are not won on Super Bowl Sunday, but on quiet Sundays in August when no one is watching.
Paul “Bear” Bryant said “It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” Are you preparing for the next argument? Are you staying engaged?
In New Jersey and Virginia, candidates crisscross their state for gubernatorial elections just months away. In New York City it is time for the voters there to award a new term for Mayor. The fight is not over. Understand your work at the block level matters. Your contact with friends and neighbors about policy issues matter. These practice sessions may seem minor but are where campaigns win or lose.
State legislatures across the country are convening as well. Will he have Trump acolytes take over important issues or will we stand up and say enough is enough. Winners have great attitudes and you should keep yours strong too.
On third and twenty with twelve seconds left in the half, Aaron Rodgers had an attitude. He found an open receiver, Jared Cook, for a thirty-six-yard pickup. He got the first down, but most importantly he put his team in position to win. Two plays prior Rodgers had been sacked. He won the game in these two plays. First, he had the wherewithal not to fumble the ball and to call an immediate timeout. Second, he found his receiver. Attitude.
Those disturbed by Trump’s victory can not give up hope. Give up hope and you have already announced your loss. Mr. Trump is becoming President on Friday at noon. The contest though is not yet over. It is one of the ideas. Our ideas will prevail.
Make sure your attitude is right. Plan on doing the little things that put you in a position to win. This is not over yet. Plan on winning. Go make it happen.