I believe that hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard. It has happened time and time again. You see it a lot during sports, when a team comes into the game underestimating their opponent then end up losing the game. For example the 2007 Michigan Wolverine’s season opener against Appalachian State Mountaineers. Michigan was favored to win so much that some Las Vegas sports book refused to offer a betting line. The game went down to the last play. Appalachian State blocked Michigan’s game-winning field goal, ending the game at 34-32.
As a young athlete I was blessed with talent and athletic skills. I started bowling in the 3rd grade, began football, basketball and track in the 4th grade. In elementary school, I played on a very good football team that beat teams by at least 21 points a game. We had size, speed and power. Nobody could tame us. We went 8-0 in the regular season my 4th grade year. When the team found out we were playing Sunset again, everybody seemed to relax, and looked forward to the championship game. Sunset was a team which we beat by 20 the last game we played them during the season. According to the stats, history and roster, we obviously had them beat.
We came to the game with the mindset that we didn’t have to try to win. It showed in our play. We scored first and started believing more. Everybody was laughing and not paying attention on the sideline. Sunset came right back and scored on the next drive. We didn’t care, it was a lucky toss and catch to us. But then they scored again. Not only was it on our starting defense, but it was also the first rushing touchdown we had given up all year. The score was 13-7 at the end of the half.
We came out with fire the second half. 2 back-to-back stops on defense, complimented with 2 back-to-back scores on offense. We began to relax again. They scored again to end the 3rd quarter. They score was 20-20 going into the 4th quarter. They scored to start the quarter. 26-20. They scored again 32-20. We were worried this had never happened before. What was more surprising was the fact that it was Sunset. We had a chance to convert on 4th down to get within a 1 touchdown game. We scored on a pass, but it got called back for a block in the back call. We lost the game. Nobody could believe it. We were supposed to win. It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
From that point on I always told myself not to underestimate anybody or team. My mom always said to me that at any point any team could win. That’s how I approach every game or race. We had two 3 sport athletes, and many 2 sport athletes. We were undefeated. We fail to work hard, we lost. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard, this I believe.
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