Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)
TITLE: A Real 'MVP'
By c clemons
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I, and millions of others watched the contest between the New England Patriots (favorites) and the (underdog) New York Giants on February 3, 2008. A battle that many thought was lopsided given the Patriots perfect season. I must admit I too thought the victory would be theirs without too much pressure from the Giants. I was wrong. I forgot that the motivation factor plays an extremely big part in winning.
I realize that on the field the Giants quarterback Eli Manning received the MVP award and the television spot. But it was what had happened in the locker room before Game 3 that I believe spurred this team on to victory, all the way to the Super Bowl. Lt. Col. Greg Gadson happened to this Giants team. Gadson played football for West Point and probably could have gone on to play professional football. But Lt. Col. Gadson lost both his legs to a bomb in Iraq.
An old school buddy, Giants receiver coach Mike Sullivan, decided to call on Lt. Col. Gadson to talk to the team before Game 3. The Giants were 0-2 at the time and he thought the team could benefit from seeing and hearing from a man that did not give up. Gadson agreed and said he just spoke from the heart; about the players appreciating the opportunities in their lives, how special and privileged they were and what they truly had. He talked about after all the exteriors had been stripped away, that of course they played the game for themselves, but they had to play the game for each other. He spoke about how his old teammates had came to his aid after his injury, and it reminded him about the power of a team, the emotional commitment teammates have for each other. How a team finds a way to do things greater than they thought they could, more than they could have done individually. He also reminded them that nothing is promised to anybody in this life, including tomorrow. After winning that day, they gave Lt. Col. Gadson the game ball and made him honorary co-captain. The players said that they were truly inspired by what Gadson had said. The Giants went on a winning streak, and Gadson felt he was part of the team. He refused a warm suite to be on the sidelines with the team at the “frozen tundra” in Green Bay when the Giants beat the Packers in subzero weather. According to his friend Mike Sullivan, players would run up to him during the game and seemingly feed off his courage. The team clinched the NFC title that day.
I find it personally motivating that a man who has lost so much still has it in him to motivate others. When asked if he has regrets. Lt. Col. Gadson responds, “I believe I still have something to offer the Soldiers. That’s as simple as I can say it. I love being a soldier and right now I think I still have something to offer. As long as that is the case, I’ m up for still being a soldier,” He also admits that his injuries and recovery has been tough on his family but he says, It’s changed their life, but I think it’s also brought us together. In tough times, there’s really two ways to go, you can come together or you can grow apart and I think it’s been something that has brought us together. I am so proud of my kids because they have really embraced what has happen to our family.”*
Learning to walk without knees or ankles is a challenge in itself but to do so without complaining truly makes this man a ‘MVP’ of life. Lt. Col. Greg Gadson we salute you.
* Army News Service December 5, 2007
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