stars and the men in the trenches Last night I watched the first half of the Kentucky Wildcats game as they proceeded to lose their first game of the season to South Carolina. I recorded the second half and watched the end of the game this morning. Commentators interviewed the "star" of the game, South Carolina guard Devan Downey. Downey scored 30 points, 44 percent of the SC team total. Now that is an amazing performance. However, that is not why Kentucky lost the game.
South Carolina plucked 21 offensive rebounds. Rebounding and
defense won that game. Kentucky has the tallest team in the
nation and South Carolina was playing without two of their best
players. Kentucky lost because South Carolina wanted the game
more. Rebounding and defense are a matter of desire.
Kentucky had averaged over 80 points a game and they scored
62 last night. Willingness to put your body in peril is what
makes great rebounders and defenders.
Our culture is quick to praise players for points scored in basketball
and the touchdowns scored in football. The men who make the
real difference in both these sports however are the players who are
warriors in the paint and trenches. Twenty one offensive
rebounds against the tallest team in the nation happens when your
players have the mental attitude and the willingness to get beat up
under the boards. When the "star" running back scores a
touchdown the real credit goes to the offensive lineman.
When Peyton Manning wins another super bowl it will be a
result of offensive lineman protecting him from being pulverized from
11 men on defense bent on crushing the "star."
The preservation of mankind has been built upon the hard work and
sacrifice of men and women who were driven to do whatever needed to
survive, to overcome "hopeless" situations. Read
some stories of men
who risked their lives in battle and quickly it is evident they were
not people destined to be "stars" because of a glamorous position.
Hard work, unappreciate work and work that is often demeaned by the
masses is glue that binds a community and ultimately a nation together.
Could it be our nation today is reeling economically from the
the desire to "accumulate wealth" without the fortitude to sweat.
We have repeatedly given money away to "stimulate" the
economy. "Cash for Cars," billions of dollars to "rescue
banks" and a continued tax credit to first time home buyers along with
a new credit for existing home owners. I wonder if the
billions given away to "boost" the economy would have been much better
spent to encourage people to work for something instead of "receiving a
gift" from the government that could ultimately cause a deficit that
Is giving money to the "select few" akin to paying a fortune for a
"star" player and ignoring the fact that the
"star" depends upon the quality of the players around him?
Devan Downey would never have touched the ball enough last
night to score his multitude of points without the work of the "men in
the trenches" snatching all those rebounds away from the heralded
number one team in the land.
Payton Manning and Drew Brees would be forgotton without the men in the
trenches protecting them. The Super Bowl teams are only as
super as the men willing to put in the time and effort to protect the
skill players. How many offensive linemen will you hear
interviewed before the Super Bowl? Probably none to few.
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