xx’s oo’s and the Game of Life

I love team sports. Football is my favorite, so this time of the year is special. And this weekend presented us with some great games and some great moments.

Going into the playoffs, the prognosticators told us we didn’t have to watch. The conventional wisdom was a Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) vs. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers) Super Bowl shootout in the Superdome in New Orleans Feb. 3. And that was an okay pick for this Pack backer.

But — the Baltimore Ravens bucked Manning off the Bronco and the San Francisco 49ers sent the Packers packing. Maybe that’s why we actually play the games.

Even with disappointment in my heart at not only the Packer loss but the way they lost, I still love watching the schemes, you know the xxx’s and ooo’s. But more important, you look at the adjustments. Who makes them. Who doesn’t.

That’s why I love football. It’s not one player {despite the writers who always seem to focus on whoever had a standout performance}. It’s 11 players — 11 players — on offense and 11 players — 11 players — on defense battling it out in the trenches with a support staff of special teamers, back-ups and coaches all working in unison. And it’s the coaches who call the plays and make the adjustments

Any quarterback is only as good as his offensive line and the ability to be on the same page with his receivers. Any running back is only as good as the offensive linemen stunting or pulling to open a hole. Any team can win when they take advantage of opportunities.

The key is working together. The key is knowing what the other 10 guys are not only doing, but expected to do. The key is making subtle changes as the game progresses.

Hmmm. That sounds a lot like life. We come up with a game plan {hopefully in sync with our Coach}, hone our skills, involve others. But the snow starts to fall or the wind picks up or we lose or job or funds start to dry up or we get sick or someone else on the team get sick or … or … or …

We still have the game plan, but do we make the adjustments? Our Coach may be screaming the changes, but are we listening? Are our xx’s and oo’s restricting us? Do we feel we have to be the “hero”? Can we make subtle adjustments within our scheme to reflect real time conditions?

Successful teams do. Successful people do.

We, as Christians, have, literally, the best Coach in the universe. And we have a rock-solid play book. We know what to do, how to do it, when to do it. But while play book may have the xx’s and oo’s down pat, we still have to play the game in real time and in real conditions. If our pass is intercepted, if the ball is fumbled, if we slip on the turf, how do we react? Do we pick ourselves up, learn from the mistake, make the subtle adjustment and continue with our game plan? Or do we start to second guess ourselves, start over thinking, make the same mistake over and over, stop listening to the Coach?

I think you can learn a lot about those xx’s and oo’s. But I think you can learn more from the adjustments. Next time you watch a football game, don’t focus on the quarterback, receivers, running backs or the play. Take a look at the whole picture … how they line up, how the defense adjusts, how the offense adjusts {those audibles at the line of scrimmage}, what the linemen do, what the receivers do {stay in to block, stop and go on routes, run full steam}. You’ll start to see a pattern — the xx’s and oo’s — but you’ll see the subtle changes — the adjustments — as well. Then apply it to your life.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Welcome joy into your home as a permanent resident.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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