"(Words of a loser) It's only a game..."
March Madness is in full swing and it's hard not to get excited. Favorite teams are chosen, televisions are the hub of activity, and schedules are cleared for the many games to be played. I have to admit it is one of my favorite times of the school year. I love just sitting there watching teams battle it out and watching sweet moves!
This year I seriously filled out a bracket. I was quite proud of myself that I picked thirteen of the sweet sixteen right. My enthusiasm was dampened though when I talked to a family who had fifteen right. I don't really care! I can't wait for the games tonight and Friday. I have to admit that although I go to Purdue, Purdue isn't my favorite basketball team. They are good and I cheer for them, but my devotion lies with North Carolina. I'll admit I've been disappointed with their season, since they should have gone undefeated, but I'm cheering loudly whenever they are on (which is Friday night at 10!).
I've been yelled at by several of my friends for not showing much Purdue pride. I've even gone so far as to say I would buy dinner if Purdue won a certain game. They ended up winning and I was out a couple dollars. I have come a long way since then, even hoping they win past what I had on my bracket. But if it came down to it, if Purdue and North Carolina were the Final Two, I would have to cheer for my Tar Heels... and look for new friends since mine would hate me.
The reason I chose the quote for this post is because I have mixed feelings with the 'it's just a game' mentality. It seems like an excuse to slack off and not try. I believe in giving your all to whatever you are doing. If a ball is rolling towards out of bounds, you dive for it. It doesn't matter if you could scrape your knees or get a couple bruises. The goal is to work as hard as you can.
Another way of thinking of 'it's only a game' is that it shouldn't be the sole purpose of your life. Relationships are important; family is important; church is important; jobs are important, etc. I realize sports take up a lot of time; I played them too. My dad would always say to me, "Right now, school should be your focus, then basketball, then work. You have to look beyond this season and see what will help you later in life." I would put them in the order of basketball, work, and school. But, I realized I would always work. School was needed so I could go on with my life. Basketball was fun, gave me different lessons for life, but was only a short term activity.
I give my all to whatever I am in. It is a waste of your time to just do it partway and it doesn't help your teammates or coworkers. If you keep the mentality that you try your hardest in whatever you do, you will achieve more then you thought you could. Even if you fail, you will be admired for you perseverance.