I believe in college athletics. From march madness to bowl mania I believe in it all. College athletics gives us an insight into a world that is disappearing at a rapid pace. It shows us that some people still do play for love of the game and not for money or glory. College athletics also teaches us valuable life lessons like hard work and determination.
I believe in the college athlete. Someone who does not play for the name on the back of the jersey but instead for the name on the front. Someone who does not worry about making it to the next level until it is time to start thinking about it. Someone who does not take short cuts just to try and get an edge but instead works from sunup to sundown just to add another pound to their max. Someone who sets a good example for kids, instead of getting arrested every weekend.
I believe in upsets and buzzer beaters. They teach us never to give up because there is always a chance. Some teach us to live our lives because you never know what the next day or game holds. Others help us keep hope about all the little things in life and give us determination not to give up. When I was 10, I was playing in a state qualifying regional baseball tournament in Katy, Texas. We were playing a team that had rolled through the earlier part of the tournament and was supposed to beat us. It was the bottom of the last inning in the championship game and my team was down by 2 runs. My team and I decided to let it all go and give one hundred percent in the last inning. We ended up squeaking it out and coming away with a one run win. This game inspired all of us to go into state with nothing to lose.
I believe in the chances that college athletics gives. Like how a person can overcome great odds and despair to triumph at the top of their respective sport. The student athletes who get a chance always seem to make the most of it for their teams and themselves. Their spirit never seems to be broken when someone tells them that they can no longer do something. They just pick themselves back up and get back to work. Soon they are doing things that no one thought would be possible. Just like Dat Nguyen, who was a star as a middle linebacker at the University of Texas A&M. But early in his career, Dat was told by collegiate scouts that he was too small, at 5’11” and 238 pounds, to play middle linebacker. Instead of quitting, Dat worked hard in the weight room and left A&M the all time leader in tackles.
So next time one is looking for something or someone to give them hope all they have to do is turn on the television and watch a college game.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.