The beginning of monsoon season, which began Friday with a DOWNPOUR of rain, from 7 am until close to 5 pm. Really, the only difference between Corvallis and College Station is the fact that here, people wear shorts and rainboots, and the temperatures remain right around 80 degrees during all of that precipitation. I, the Northwesterner that I am, had to go buy an umbrella. But let me tell you, once those temperatures started dropping from 80 degrees to 60 in about an hour, the lack of rain falling on my already damp hair was a blessing.
All right, enough about the weather! Saturday’s football game, THE BIG ONE, the Big 12 Season Opener…against OSU– Oklahoma State University that is… color stealers, letter copiers and posers! (Sorry, I just had to get that out, not to mention bravely wearing my bright orange OSU sweatshirt and having to explain to every 5 out of 10 people that I’m from the REAL OSU, Oregon, not THAT place). We fought hard, we fought bravely. Earlier games in the season, when it was an easy game and win, it was hard to see what people were talking about when they said that ‘football was different in Texas’. But after today’s game, it was obvious. The stadium SHOOK with the screams, not yells, of the fans.
There just is something about the game of football though, you know. And it doesn’t matter what part of the country that you play in. After the game, during the press conference that the coach gave, he mentioned something that holds true for all of us, in games of football and in life. So many people were pointing fingers at the quarterback for the passes he threw away, or the defense for not holding the line and allowing OK State to get a 1st down. Others were pointing fingers at the coach’s call to have a regular kick off instead of an onside kick, with short time left on the clock and 5 points down. But Coach Sherman put it perfectly: ‘We didn’t do things right today, we made mistakes and shouldn’t have done those things. But the point is, they scored more points, made more 1st downs, and we did not. And that’s why we didn’t win the football game’. I’m beginning to realize that being a part of the 12th man… it’s more than just watching a football game…
I mean, isn’t this just life? We all try to say, in that Ochem or Biology class, ‘It’s the teacher and how he/she teaches! They ask so much harder questions than the lecture, or I’ve never seen that problem in my life!’ I know that one of the reasons that I’m here at Texas A&M is because I felt like there were just too many ‘other’ things pulling at me, away from my studies. The problem is, I just wasn’t doing things right. I wasn’t studying like I needed to, answering questions wrong, and I shouldn’t have done those things. But it just comes down to focus and our willingness to strive for that endzone. That was something else that Coach Sherman said in the press review. After the Arkansas game last week (a dismal 52-10 loss), the Aggies today came out with much better focus, and it was visible. They didn’t win the ball game, but they were in it. And they weren’t even supposed to be close. That’s what our lives are like, as well. If we focus on the things that are important, and stop pointing fingers at things that we can’t control and prepare OURSELVES, whether it’s by studying harder, doing more practice problems, or taking the time in the library to read more of the text book… It makes me think back to high school sports. I was an athlete, and I spent HOURS AND HOURS at the gym practicing, going over footwork, strenthening my hands and shoulders, making my serve more accurate or working on my jumpshot or defensive slide. That focus and determination, of not giving up was something that I never even considered not doing.
I’m beginning to realize that my education, that is now where that focus needs to be applied. I’m not going to go on to play college volleyball or basketball… but I am going to go on to a career, a career in medicine. But it takes focus, and strength. Regardless of the degree of difficulty of tests, there are answers. I just have to focus, and choose the right outlet. And here, in this arena of life, there are no teammates with which to rely on.
But we do have fans.