Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
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: The Evasive Touchdown Victory Does Not Cause the End of Civilization
By Dan Blankenship
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Doug heard someone come into the locker room. He knew it was probably Coach Grayson. He waited to hear the coaches voice, knowing that words of encouragement and wisdom were about to be spoken. But Doug was not going to look up. He didn’t want the coach to see his eyes. Coach Grayson wanted his players to hold their heads up win they lose, not wallow in self-pity and remorse.
“Mansfield, you okay?” Coach Grayson asked.
Doug never dreamed those words would come from Coach. “Yeah, eventually I’ll be all right. I just can’t believe it. I mean three years in a row. I choked three years in a row…same play…same pass…even the same final score. It’s like that movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray, you know, the same day repeating itself over and over again. Only I get a year in between days, and I know I‘ve only got one more year left.” Doug replied, trying hard to keep his voice from cracking.
“Doug, I know what you’re going through has got to be tough. Getting so close to something that you want so much and then having it slip away is terrible. But what’s worse than that is letting past failures keep you from future successes. Dwelling on the past accomplishes nothing. You absolutely have to concentrate on effort, training, and planning to achieve anything worthwhile. You always give 100-percent at practice, and the only reason we’ve come this far three years in a row is because of that focus. God gave you a gift, a talent, and you’ve used it to keep yourself sharp and disciplined. You inspire your peers and our community every time you take the field.”
“The fans and the students wouldn’t even look at me as they left the stadium.”
“Doug, they weren’t the ones on that field. You were out there, in the fire, fighting to achieve something you trained hard for. You can’t live your life worrying about how others see your efforts. If you know you gave it your all, and you know your heart was in the right place, then you know you did everything you could do. God, family, and teammates never ask for more than that.”
Coach Grayson reached out his hand and gently pulled Doug up off the bench by his arm and then patted him on the back.
“What about fans, Coach? They want more than that?” Doug asked, packing his stuff into his gym bag.
“Yeah, fans always want more than that. I think that’s why they stay in the stands,” Coach replied.
A smile crossed Doug’s face as he left the locker room that evening, and exactly one year later the Garlen Lions not only won the sectionals, they went on to become state champions with an undefeated season.
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