Sunday, November 15, 2009

If there is such a thing ...

as a good loss - yesterday's game was a good loss.

Seth's 8-yr old football team went to the Super Bowl for the third time in three years. The first two they won ... this year the setting was exactly the same as the past two Novembers ... Seth's team lost to one team during the season ending at 7 -1, the team they lost to was undefeated at 8-0 and they met that team in the Super Bowl and played their hearts out to earn HUGE wins (2007 vs. Dolphins 52-19, 2008 vs. Hawks 40-12).

We knew this year's game would be a tough game with the weather forecast for cold temps & snow ... They boys knew it would be a tough one against a team that was blowing people out all season with huge scores yet holding them to a single touchdown if even one each game (Seth's team lost 14-38 to them); but they knew that they were staring across at a group of 8-yr old boys just like them.

It was a tough fight ... it was a struggle - for both teams.

At half-time the score was 0 - 0

Seth's team came into the third quarter and scored early on FINALLY 7 - 0

Late in the third quarter the Hawks scored a touchdown but didn't get their extra point 7 - 6

The game continued as a struggle (I kept eyeing the nearest trash can with the nerves churning in my stomach - sheesh if I felt this way I couldn't imagine how the boys felt out there) ... finally with FIVE plays left in the game the Hawks scored again but didn't get their extra point 7 - 12. When Seth's team got the ball back they only had two plays left to get about 60 yards ... it didn't happen.

As our parents rushed the field making a tunnel for the boys to run through telling them they played amazing & it was one of the best games of their lives we were met with sad faces and tears ... not just tears sobbing boys, hurt boys, boys who wanted the win but fell five points short.

All boys receive trophies for playing in the Super Bowl - this year this one doesn't say Super Bowl Champs and that's okay; but when I was met at the edge of the field by one of my favorite 8-yr old boys on the team and he held up his trophy and told me " I am throwing this one away." My heart broke. I looked him in the eye and told him that this trophy was just as important and good as the other two. That he needed to be proud of this trophy and set it upon the shelf next to the other two because only TWO teams make it to the Super Bowl each year and they have made it for THREE IN A ROW! No one else has earned three trips to the Super Bowl in three years and win or lose they were the best of the best! That our team didn't even lose by ONE TOUCHDOWN 12-7 is a shootout and a fight. That trophy should inspire them for years to come because their sadness & hurt will build their character and help them bring it again next year; part of being a champion is losing - I was glad that Seth was standing next to his pal and heard it all. Then I made Seth & his pal hold up their trophies for a photo ... last night when I downloaded the photos off the camera you can see the tear rolling down Seth's pal's cheek.

Every time one of Seth's coaches have to make a speech to the boys about a lost game, my respect for them goes up one notch. Our football head coach is so knowledgeable about football, about coaching and is full of passion and love of the game but the bottom line for him is about one thing - the boys. So our head coach's speech brought tears to nearly every parent and guest on our sideline when the tears fell from his eyes as he started "I am glad you boys are crying - it shows you care, it shows you feel the game ..." that he loved each and every boy out there and he would go to war with any of them by his side because they didn't lose from lack of trying or lack of heart - they left it all out on the field as a team. Yes, a 240 pound 6' 3" tall southern football coach shed tears with his 8 -yr old football team - that is something I never thought I'd experience.

They had a wonderful, wonderful season, Seth's team returned to the field with 10 players from last year (only 9 original players from 2007) and 7 new teammates, 5 of them never touching a football and 1 never even watching it on TV ... so to come this far together in only one season is such a wonderful experience for the boys!


A photo from the pre-game party:

the post-game speech:


Jolene said...

This post brought tears to MY eyes. Seth, you are such an awesome kid and super athlete. I am SO PROUD of you and the Warriors!! C, you are the best mom a boy could have. ♥ to you both!

Maryfrances said...

I got cut off earlier when I can to check out your blog today. I was in tears also. How sweet these little boys are. They are so rough and tumble out there but in the end they are just sweet little boys. The boys did a super job!!