Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Making mistakes

And it started out as such a hopeful day....

The Forty Niners entered Sunday's game with high hopes and huge expectations. The team of Montana and Young, of Rice and "the catch" had lived up to expectations in their last game against the Packers. News media titled their broadcasts as "Return to Glory" in obvious acknowledgement of the golden team that would be going ALL the way. People were making Super Bowl plans. People believed once again their team would soon be wearing ring #6 in final supremacy on February 5. And then it happened.

It was in sudden death overtime. Kyle Williams a 2nd year special teams player was to return a punt and the Niners would score the winning points ending this Championship game. But it didn't go that way. He fumbled. It wasn't even his only mistake, no in fact he had made another mistake that ultimately resulted in the Giants scoring. This one however would result in the Giants winning the game. The "Return to Glory" was cut short. There would be no Super Bowl, no ring, just humiliation.

Twitter in all its social significance (read that as sarcastic) lit up with death threats and suggestion Kyle Williams should jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. As if the man had meant to do it. As it he wasn't the most unhappy person on the planet.
He played badly. He made two mistakes that he and many will never forget. But it shows me in a way how terribly out of whack our society has become.

I don't know how much Kyle Williams is paid to return punts. I assume it would seem like a lot of money to most of us. But most likely whatever he is paid would seem like a small amount in comparison to some on the team. We could debate whether these people are "worth" that kind of money, but what we know is society has deemed they are, or they wouldn't be paid it.

For me, the mistake Kyle Williams made may sit in direct juxtaposition to the money he may be receiving, but neither is based in reality to me.

Mistakes don't make you less of a person, they make you human. A windfall of good fortune doesn't make you a more valuable human being, it makes you lucky. The measure of a person is not tied up in a football game. No mistake in football should garner calls for death. It doesn't speak well of us as a people to try and make things so black and white. There is very little room for that kind of thinking in the REAL world.

In my REAL world, games are not that important. They are fun. It is fun to get caught up with the excitement. I can appreciate the skill of a well placed pass and an impossible catch. I can appreciate a great run back, as someone dodges the defenders all the way to the end zone. And I can groan and be disappointed when someone trips and drops a ball. But when I think about how some people have reacted I am amazed this game, isn't life. It isn't a matter of life an death. Cancer is.

But even Cancer as horrific as it is, isn't something that you can easily make black and white. 40% of Cancer is situational in that if you didn't smoke (for example) you may have avoided getting Cancer. But 60% of Cancer is random or hereditary. So if you drink a soda pop, does that mean you deserve to get Cancer? Should we hate those people whose behavior may have caused their Cancer?

And when Cancer comes it doesn't just bring pain and misery it can bring courage to someone who had none, faith deep in your soul, love for and from your family and community, strength you never knew you had and gifts you never could have imagined. This doesn't mean it is OK to get Cancer...it means even in something so dire, it is a measure of someone what they do with the situation they are in. If you look below the surface, even in defeat you can find something of great value.

The Niners lost their Championship game. For their fans and especially for the players, I feel glad they had the opportunity to have played it. But the ongoing war to find a cure for Cancer I will use every tool I have been given to make a difference. In this, I know there will be ups and downs but I will never take my eyes off the prize. Not a trophy or a ring, but a world in which a little girl can be born and grow to live a full life free of the fear of Breast Cancer.

Now that the GAME is over, life continues. But if you still want to play along and enjoy the Super Bowl, how about buying a square in our Football pool. It's $35 a square and $25 goes to Susan G Komen - $10 toward a prize. We have many squares still available. Whats the expression "Any given Sunday" well here it is any given square could be a winner of up to $1000, but you need to do this now. All payments must be received prior to the Super Bowl. The Niners or Broncos or Steelers may be out, but you don't have to be.... buy a square!