October 8, 2018

The Fourth Quarter


It may dawn on us one day like the orange-yellow circle that glides out of the pitch black darkness and then begins bursting in the eastern sky, that we have spent many years on this earth, walking and wandering, traipsing and trudging, and stumbling and bumbling, and if we were lucky, dancing a little to our favorite music...and then on one not so pleasant day when we really aren’t expecting it, we may realize that we’re closer to the two minute warning than we are to the opening kickoff...the first half of the game went by baby and you’re entering the fourth quarter already...where the hell did the third quarter go?...you must have been standing in line for popcorn or beer or grabbing a water...distracted, displaced, disorientated, discombobulated, and not even aware to the fact Jack that the clock was still running all the time that you weren’t paying attention, and you can’t call any timeouts and nobody’s gonna put time back on the clock..the cheerleaders might still be cheering, but there comes a time when time is running out...time...time...time...the time has come today...time...maybe worst of all, worst of all, maybe you never even really got in the game...you were standing on the sidelines, helmet in hand waiting for your big chance, or sitting on the bench watching everybody else playing, but whatever, that chance never came...nobody called your name or number and told you to get in there, so there you stood...life seldom comes by and grabs you by the collar of your jersey and tells you to get in the game...in life, you often have to put yourself in the game...better to wear out than rust out...we may look at the game recap and study the tape and see a few big plays we’re proud of, some nice completions here and there, but a lot of missed opportunities too...incompletions of passes that should have been completed, too many throws (actions) that you’d like to have back, too many bad play calls, careless fumbles, and inexcusable interceptions, and no doubt some penalties for screwing up...upon further review, you had too many times you were playing behind the chains and in 3rd and long situations and it’s probably because you put yourself there...and there were probably a lot of plays (days) that we took off figuring there were a lot more to go and what the hell difference would it make if we give less than 100% sometimes?...what kind of recap would you come up with?...a human highlight reel, a compilation of bloopers, or something in between?...in the post-game press conference, could you defend the decisions you made?...would you ‘own it’, or would you make excuses or blame the referees...but really, did you make any difference in somebody’s life?...I know I probably put some bartenders’ kids through college so I guess that counts for something...you may find yourself comparing your life to the life of others your age and wondering how you stack up against them...my guess is that you’re probably doing not much better or worse if you add up all the statistics and what difference does it really make?...ultimately, the final gun is going to go off when the clock ticks down to 00:00, the band stops playing, and we all head to the same locker room.