Never Too Old To Go Back

A couple of Fridays ago, most of the members of our 1993 State Championship Basketball Team came home to our hometown of Hudson.  It has been 25 years since that amazing season and our school honored us at halftime of their varsity boy’s basketball game.  The Pirates and the Cyclones were doing battle that night in the old gym we used to call home and even though the game had a lot of importance to this year’s Hudson Boys Team, it was not the focus for us or for many of those who came to remember the magic created by that team 25 Hudson teams ago.

Honestly, I did not know what to expect leading up to that night.  I was not really sure how many of the guys were going to actually make it back for that night.  Obviously, that season was very special to each of us who was a part of it, but life has a way of taking you away from home.  After 25 years, most of us have wives and kids now.  We have our own families.  With that comes a lot of responsibilities and expectations and it can be difficult to get back sometimes.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there would be 11 of us players from that team that were able to make it back.  I guess you are never too old to go back.

That morning I had gone down to the basement of my house and pulled the Hudson shooting shirt that we wore for warm ups off the hanging space where I keep all of my old Hudson stuff I wore when I was an athlete for old Hudson High.  It was my hopes that I would be able to wear it for that night.  Despite the fact that I have recently lost 40 lbs., it was still too tight on me to wear in public.  I shouldn’t have been surprised since I had gained 100 lbs. since I had last worn that shirt.  I just had to laugh silently to myself and place the shirt back on the rack.  Maybe it will fit me for the 50th reunion.

On the drive home to Hudson from Ames that night, my mind was filled with so many memories from back when I was a basketball player.  Life really was a lot simpler then.  I thought back to how bad I was at the game of basketball when I started and how I made a decision that I was going to make myself a good basketball player and I did ultimately do that, but it took a lot of work.  It took so many hours shooting hoops up in the barn.  I remembered how I would show up early for games and shoot baskets and work on my game for 1-2 hours before games and then for another 1-2 hours after each game.  It was just me, the basketball, and an empty gym.  That is when the real progress was made, when no one was watching.  I shouldn’t say no one.  I can remember the janitors that would be there after games cleaning up the gym.  I can remember Henry cleaning everything three times, not because it needed it, but because by doing that, it allowed me more time to be in that empty gym, working on my game.  Eventually, they would have to make me go home because they had to lock up.  Later one of the janitors had a copy of the key to the gym made and gave it to me so that they could go home after cleaning and then I could stay as long as I wanted.  I just had to make sure the door was locked and all the lights were turned out when I did finally leave.  It was kind of like in the movie Rudy.  That could have been a huge liability, but they trusted me and I never broke their trust.  I never spoke of that until now because I never wanted that janitor to get in trouble, but I think we are OK telling the story now.  The statute of limitations is up on that one.

I thought about Grandma Rose and our shared love of basketball and that Hudson team.  She went to every single game that season home and away and would always wear her pair of luck blue rain boots that became one of our good luck charms as the tournament approached that season.  She supported me so much and there were many days when I felt that she was the only other person in this world who understood me and my drive to make myself a better basketball player.  She always encouraged me and gave me the space to do what I needed to do to reach my goals and that really meant the world to me.  She would have absolutely loved to have been there on this night, but unfortunately, she just missed it by less than a year as she passed away last spring.  Even though she would not be there in person, I could still feel her spirit there and that brought a smile to my face.

When I arrived home at the farm and joined up with my mom, Jill, who would be with me the rest of the night.  It was fitting that she was the one with me.  Mom has always loved me unconditionally and I honestly owe my love of sports to her.  She pushed me to try sports, even though I did not like them, and later discovered that it was one of the great loves of my life.  She too, was at every single game that season and I loved that she could be with me on that night to look back and remember together.

When we entered the gym (it is the same gym we played in), we saw that they had a section reserved for the players and families of that State Championship team.  We found our seats and as the game started, I found myself talking with my old teammates more than I actually watched the game happening in that gym.  I guess that was appropriate for us on that night.

At halftime, they brought us out on the court and recognized us to the fans.  Each of us had a chance to take the mike and introduce ourselves and where we live today.  It is interested to note that after 25 years, there were a lot of people in the stands that I did not know.  It was like my hometown, but not fully.  There were enough people there that I did know though that I knew I really was home.  Those people who were in that gym that night that had been there 25 seasons ago still remembered and that was good enough for me.

When I think back to the 1992-1993 basketball season, I was only a sophomore.  I really looked up to Coach Dober, the other coaches, and my teammates.  I was still at a point where I was learning how to play the game of basketball effectively.  I can say that I developed more as a basketball player over the course of that season than any other season that I played basketball.  I experienced great growths both physically and intellectually as to how the game should be played.  I had some great role models, but I especially took the lead of Brian Hemesath, who taught me so much!  He meant more to me than he will ever know.

As I look back now to that tournament, we really had no business winning a state title that season.  The teams we played, especially Winfield-Mt. Union and Boyden-Hull were more talented athletically and physically than we were.  But the one intangible factor was heart and we had the heart of a warrior that season and we were determined that we were not going to lose.  The whole state thought we would lose to Winfield-Mt. Union, but someone forgot to give us that message.  That 48 hour period of knocking off Winfield-Mt. Union (one of the biggest upsets in the history of the boy’s state basketball tournament) and then following it up with another monumental upset of Boyden-Hull the very next night was the stuff of legend.  It happened so quickly and honestly was a blur to me.

The thing I will remember more than anything was the relationships.  The relationships we had with our coaches who coached us to look deep within ourselves and bring out the best in us, even better than we knew we had, and guide us to places we didn’t even know we could go.  The relationships with my brothers (teammates) and how we pushed each other to do better.  Our silly little pregame rituals.  The silly times on the buses traveling all around Iowa on those cold dark nights.  The crazy moments in restaurants, shopping malls, and hotel rooms in Des Moines that year.  The quiet times in the locker room before entering the stage.  The BIG stage with all the lights and screaming fans with everyone watching everything you do.  The relationships with all the parents and how they loved and supported us through all the wins and losses.  Fortunately, the losses were so few.  The relationships with all the fans of Hudson.

There is something so special about a small town and how they wrap their arms around a team.  Their support of us all that season was amazing.  There were times when we would go to away games and we would have as many fans as the home team.  When state came, the whole town of Hudson pretty much closed down and came to the barn in Des Moines to support us.

I remember the elation, by everyone after winning the first basketball title ever for our school.  I remember how the Grundy Center fire department led our bus through Grundy County on our way home from state.  This was so amazing to me because they were our bitter rival, but not on that day.  I remember the Hudson fire engines waiting at the county line and the two fire departments trading off and our own Hudson Fire Department leading us back home to our beloved town.  I remember the parade and pep assembly.  Such pure joy by everyone!

Small towns are so special and state championships in small towns are even more special.  The fact that we were a team that season that no one outside of our town thought we could win a title, yet we did anyway, is something that is straight out of Hoosiers.  I have not lived in the town of Hudson since 1995, but Hudson has never left my heart.  With age, life changes you and memories fade, but that team and what we did that season, will never leave the collective soul that makes up our great town of Hudson!  I am just so grateful that I was able to be a part of that special moment in time.

Following the game that night, some of the players had to go home to their current lives so we said our goodbyes to them.  Some of us were able to travel to Peppers, in Cedar Falls, to have a couple of drinks and talk about what we are doing now and the memories we had from that special season so long ago.  The time went quickly though and soon we all had to say our goodbyes and head back to our lives of today.  For that brief night, we were able to find a way to stop time and step back in time to that time of our youth.  It was great to visit there again, even if it was for only a brief time.  As the midnight hour struck, like Cinderella, we too had to step back into that time machine and return to our own realities of today.  We all have our own lives, but being a part of that team, in that time, changed each of us and helped make us who we are today.  We each carry that experience with us in our hearts wherever we go and like a great magnet, that experience draws us back together, even for the briefest of moments.  I guess you really are never too old to go back!


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How to Finish Well

finishing well

2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.


There are many people who see the last years of their life as an opportunity to relax.  But this does not fit with God’s purpose for us.  God wants us to serve Him all the days of our lives.

If we look at the Apostle Paul’s journey, we can get a better picture of what it means to finish well.  He spent his time pouring into others until the very end of his life.  Consider the letters he wrote to Timothy from prison prior to being executed.  The verses above come from one of those letters that Paul wrote Timothy.

In every season of our lives, God calls each of us to serve others.

Notice how, when writing about his life, Paul chose words descriptive of battle.  He understood the human struggle against sin as well as the challenges of pain and persecution in the trials we all face in our lives.  These trials come to each of us at some time or another, even if we are doing kingdom work like preaching Christ to a fiercely resistant society.

This godly servant’s life was also marked by surrender.  Paul’s mindset is obvious in these following words:

Romans 12:1(NIV)

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Paul was clearly not afraid of the Roman emperor Nero, nor was he struggling to stay alive.  Paul trusted God to determine everything about his life, including where he would go, what he would do, and when he would die.  Death did not scare him, because he knew he would dwell with Jesus forever.

God doesn’t require us to have perfect lives in order to finish strong.  We can live abundantly and still be ready to meet God by surrendering to Him, walking victoriously with Christ, and serving others.  The question is, if Jesus called you home today, would you, like Paul, be confident that you live well until the very end?

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This Story Has a Name

Luke 2:1-7 (NIV)

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.


The story of Christmas, like all epic stories, begins with a problem.  How can a holy God reveal the solution to man’s evil ways?  No one doubts evil.  It send prodigals to run off to far countries, compels ruthless dictators to slaughter infants, and fuels jealous kings to grasp for power.  Our world suffers under the destructive hand of evil and its merciless consequences.

What we see in that manger is the revelation of a God who knows what it’s like to be a Father.  Parenthood draws us closer to the highest joys and the deepest sorrows of God.  We’d do just about anything for our children.  Bethlehem and Golgotha are proof that a holy God would do the unthinkable for you.  That’s what love does.  That’s also what makes parenthood so scary.  Parenthood is a blessing, but sometimes it feels like a gamble as well.  No one can guarantee that your kids will love you.  God knows that all too well.  The same evil that drove Jesus to the cross causes heartbreak, destruction, disease, and pain.  We live in such uncertainty, and yet we can know for sure that God understands.  He too has felt grief and pain over our erring ways.

Ultimately, this is the story of a Redeemer who loved us so much that He refused to let us die in our sin.  In the midst of our pain and desolation, joy rises, and we can celebrate once again.  This is the story grace and truth that helps us move forward.  There is a star.  There is a heavenly hose.  There is a song.  There is a Son.  This story has a name.  We call it Christmas.

G.K. Chesterton, the “prince of paradox,” once said. “Christmas is built upon a beautiful and intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home.”

I would urge each of us to take some time this Christmas, to reflect on the story of Christmas and really think about what God really did for us on that day over 2,000 years ago.  Reflect on that great sacrifice He made on our behalf.  By thinking about that, we should ask ourselves how that can change our hope for 2018.  How can we share that reflection with our family during this joyous season?

I want to wish each and every one of you and all of your family a very Merry Christmas!  It really is an amazing story when you really think about it.

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And Then He Was Two

I can hardly believe that this Saturday my little boy Matthew turns two.  Where has the time gone?  I can still remember the day he was born clear as day.  I wrote a blog then and if you did not get a chance to read it then, you can read it here.

Oh how the memories of his birth flow back to me like a river released from a dam.  The feelings of being a new father and knowing that this new life, which you help bring into this world, will be shaped and formed by the person you are.

Making life fills you with humility, balls, arrogance, a mighty manliness, confidence, terror, joy, dread, and love, a sense of calm and reckless adventure.  It is a complete bag of different emotions.  Isn’t anything possible now?  If we can populate the world, can’t we create and shape it?  Then reality and diapers and formula and sleepless nights and child seats and yellow custard crap and cream cheese vomit set in.  But…oh, these are the blessed needs and fluids of my boy and at the end of each headachy, tiring new world of a day, we are exhausted but exalted by new identities, Mom and Dad!

At home, we take alternating shifts.  I walk my boy lost miles across our tiny bedroom floor until his eyes go from full to half-mast to…sleep.  Sitting back in the recliner chair with Matthew upon my chest, I watch him rise and fall with each breath I take.  I listen and count each and every exhalation of his lungs, his breaths still so few as to remain countable, a prayer to God, Matthew’s ultimate Creator.  I inhale his baby smells, secure him gently in my hands, synchronize our breathing, and I drift to sleep in peace.

The endorphin high of birth fades, but its trace remains with you forever, its fingerprints indelible proof of love’s presence and daily grandeur.  You have offered up your prayer.  You have vowed service to a new world and laid a bedrock of earthly faith.  You have chosen your sword, your shield, and where you will fall.  Whatever tomorrow brings, these things, these people, will be with you always.  The power of choice, of a life, a lover, a place to stand, will be there to be called upon and make fresh sense of your tangled history.  More important, it will also be there when you waver, when you’re lost, providing you with the elements of a new compass, encased within your heart.

From here on, the hard gravitational pull of the past will have a formidable challenger: your current life.  Together, Stephanie and I made one and one equal three.  That is God’s miracle.  That is life.

This new life revealed that I was more than my life had ever previously been.  It was more than any song, any story, any night, any idea, any truth, any lie, any shadow, any question, any answer, and any moment could ever bear.  All of these were just a restless figment of my own and others’ imagination.  Work is work and play is play, but life is life, and life trumps everything else.

Matthew, these past two years have been the greatest years of my life.  Anything I have ever done or accomplished pale in comparison to what you have given me.  You have given my life a new purpose.  You have made me see the world in a completely different way.  You have shown me God in a way I had never previously known.  Matthew, you have redefined who I am as a man and that is really the greatest gift anyone could ever hope to get.

I know that this is not the end.  There are so many days (God willing) to come, so many memories to write unto my heart, and so many things I still want to teach you.  I just wanted to take this moment in time to pause and tell you what you mean to me.  You are my little boy and I am prouder of you than I will ever be able to express to you in words or actions.  I am proud of the little boy you are today and I am proud of the man you will become one day.  Each day I get to spend with you in my life is a gift from God and I cherish each moment.

You truly are the best part of me Matthew and I hope you enjoy your day.  You deserve it!

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Remembering Christmas as a Kid and Ideals Christmas

I can remember back to when I was a little boy.  Many of my memories revolve around my Grandma Rose and time spent on the farm with her.  So many memories filled with snow and Christmas and life on the farm.

I can remember that Grandma Rose would always buy a copy of the Ideals Christmas, which is published by the Ideals Company out of Nashville, TN.  Each year we would look through the publication and it was filled with Christmas stories, recipes, poems, and songs.  I can remember Grandma reading me these stories.  It was a very joyful time for me each year.

As what happens with most of those, I grew older and it was no longer “cute” to me to go through that publication each year.  Grandma would continue to get the publication each year, but at some point, I stopped looking at it.  It stopped becoming “cool” to go through it with Grandma and have her read the stories and poems to me.  It certainly was not appealing to me to sing the Christmas songs found in the book.  Over time, it was just something I no longer had interest in.  This all happened over 30 years ago and the memories that came from that publication had left my mind completely.

Fast forward to two months ago.  I was going through the Christian Book catalog, looking for Advent devotionals for the upcoming season and then I saw it.  The 2017 edition of the Ideals Christmas publication.  I was completely shocked.  I had no idea that they even still published this.  I guess that was foolish thinking since it has been around for so long.  It had just completely left my radar, until now.  I was completely stopped in my tracks.  I immediately ordered it and when it came in the mail later in the week, I went through it and was flooded with memories.  What had grown “boring” and “no longer cool” in my younger years, was now filling my soul with the wonder and excitement of Christmas.  It was amazing to me all over again.  It is amazing how things can come around again and be completely different to us depending on our mindset when we look at them.

I have now officially fallen in love with the Ideals Christmas publication all over again.  I am sad that it took so long, because this is the first Christmas without Grandma Rose and I can no longer share the joy of this publication with her, but I can share it with my son, Matthew.  That is exactly what I will be doing this Christmas season and for many more to come.  Until he no longer finds it “cool” and then it will be just me reading it, just like it was for Grandma.  That is how the circle of life goes isn’t it?  Who knows, maybe someday, when Matthew has long since grown up and moved away, he too will come across this publication again, just like I did, and he will share it with his children someday.  Pretty cool to imagine.


In today’s blog I want to share with you one of the poems I found in the 2107 edition of Ideals Christmas.  I can’t remember exactly what year it was, but I remember my fascination with sleigh bells.  I had grandma help me find some sleigh bells and we worked together to attach those bells to the harness of one of our ponies.  We then attached a sled to the back of the harness and I remember going all over the farm on that snowy day with the sounds of sleigh bells all along the way.  It was a great memory locked away deep in my heart and was brought back when I read this poem.  What a great time of year to look back and remember Christmas as a kid and all the wonderful memories that remind us of how special it was.  I want to share that poem with you here:


Sleigh Bells

By Elma Helgason


Our modern ways of travel

Are surely swift and grand;

We dash about in comfort

By air or sea or land.


But sleigh bells softly ringing

Across the drifted snow;

Remind me of the journeys

Of Christmas long ago.


And oft there comes before me

A picture from the past;

Where dear ones in a farmhouse

Heard sleigh bell sound at last.


I see the ponies plodding

Through miles of drifted snow;

And faces at a window

Alight with lamplight glow.


And in the frosty twilight,

The tinkling bells sound sweet;

With sound of sliding runners

And crunch of horses’ feet.


Through weeks of isolation

In wintry storm and blast;

The sound of tinkling sleigh bells

Meant company at last!


In spite of modern travel,

It sets my heart aglow;

To hear the sound of sleigh bells

Across the miles of snow.

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Have a True Thanksgiving This Year

Philippians 4:10-20 (NIV)

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

20 To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


The original plan for the first Thanksgiving, held in the fall of 1621, was to celebrate a successful harvest with three days of fasting.  The pilgrim of Plymouth later decided to invite the Wampanoag tribe, who had helped them secure their footing in the New World, to join them for a feast instead.

Today, Thanksgiving weekend is also a three-day event.  It begins on Thursday when some of the most eager stores open up early for Black Friday.  Then, of course, there’s Black Friday proper and finally Cyber Monday.  Three days of shopping, splurging, and shoving.  Sandwiched in between is the turkey feast, but it’s difficult to recognize the spirit of those first pilgrims in our celebrations.

It’s estimated that there were only five women present among the fifty or so at the first Thanksgiving.  Most of the women, along with the many men and children, had died, either on the voyage over or during that first winter.  Yet those who survived gave thanks to God, recognizing His goodness despite their monumental losses.

This type of thankfulness and contentment is exactly what Paul describes, “whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”  Paul discovered that Jesus plus nothing is just as satisfying as Jesus plus everything.  Either way, there’s cause to be thankful.

As we move into our Thanksgiving holiday, I would like us to consider two questions:

  1. How was Paul able to be thankful even while in prison?
  2. What are some things you are grateful for this Thanksgiving?

A.W. Tozer once said, “Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and not be poorer, but richer for having made it.”  I agree with that 100%.  Gratitude does not have to be dependent on our situation or our current financial status.  Giving gratitude will always bring us up from wherever we find ourselves or whatever we find ourselves in.

I want to wish you and your families the very best this Thanksgiving holiday season.  Don’t eat too much.  Don’t watch too much football.  And certainly don’t spend your whole weekend shopping.  If you get a chance, take a moment and think back to the very first Thanksgiving and what it was really about.  Let’s get back to more of what that first celebration was like.  If we can do that, we can have a true Thanksgiving this year.

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Uncharted Territory

This season all of the faithful Cyclone Football fans have seen what a special season this is.  We have trusted in the process that new coach Matt Campbell has been talking about and now we are starting to see some of the payoff of that process and what can be achieved.

No one and I mean no one saw that win in Norman, Oklahoma coming.  What a sweet win that was.  To follow that up with the win again TCU at home at the end of October was just an amazing thing to witness as a fan.

Normally, the pattern is that every decade or two Iowa State will have an amazing upset.  A good example of this is when ISU upset Nebraska back in 1992.  What an amazing game that was.  Cyclone fans would have to wait until 2011, when the Cyclones had an epic upset against Oklahoma State in Jack Trice Stadium.  That is a long time to go between major upsets.  This season, we experienced two major upsets of that caliber not only within the same season, but the same month.  This really is uncharted territory for ISU fans.

Cyclone fans really don’t want to admit it, but really, the Cyclone football tradition is that of losing.  We lose more games than we win.  It can be difficult, but over time, you get seasoned to it and your expectations diminish and you expect less success for your team.  Then along comes a special coach who says, “Enough is enough, we are not going to accept losing.  We are going to start a new culture where winning is expected.”  It sounds great, but how could it change when it has been this way for as long as people remember.

But then we start to see change.  Instead of close losses, we start seeing close victories.  We see going to a bowl game as a yearly expectation, not just a reward that comes every 5 seasons.  We start talking about competing for Big 12 Championships, which has never really been mentioned before in the history of the program.

What is even more amazing than the winning we are seeing on the field is how he is doing it.  Coach Campbell is not about taking short cuts.  He is doing things the right way.  It is just as important how the player acts off the field as they do on the field.  They are expected to excel in the classroom and not just on the football field.  The student athletes are expected to be involved in the community and do positive things and be positive role models.  If a player is not on board for all those things, if they are just here to take from the team and excel on the field and do their own thing, they will not be around very long.  That is the way it should be and that more than any victory or any amazing upset, is what makes me so proud of the state of the program right now.

By no means is the climb over.  We are not yet where any of us want to be.  The team has accomplished so much already, but there is still so much.  We are entering into uncharted territory.  We are witnessing our program going into a place that honestly, it has never really been before.  This is just the beginning of the journey and trust me, I am enjoying every bit of the ride.

In this blog, I wanted to include this transcript of what Coach Campbell said to the team as he addressed them in the locker room immediately following their upset of TCU at Homecoming.  I think his words speak for themselves.

“A couple of things for you guys.  Listen to me and then I will let you go.  So the biggest thing I’ve got to tell you is this.  You are teaching the world, that in this sport, college football, toughness, discipline, and details still matter.  That’s your platform.  Your platform is, it is team above self.  That’s the platform that you’re using.  And no one wants to buy into that in our culture today.  OK.  Our culture says “it’s all about me.  Our culture says “screw process.  I want instant gratification.”

But here’s a fact and young guys listen to me.  If you fall in love with the process…If you fall in love with the process, then eventually, eventually, the process will love you back.  But see here’s what’s crazy about that.  You don’t know when it’s going to love you back.  OK.  All you have to do is be prepared for your opportunity, when it’s ready to love you back.  Now think about that, because that’s powerful.  There’s some young guys in here that are still trying to climb the ladder.  What you guys that have grinded it out, have stuck it out, have believed it out, you fell in love with the process.  And the process is now loving you back.  And if you let it continue on this journey, I’m telling you it’s a dark, lonely road.  You see all this around you, they all want to buy the stock right now.  Alright.  They want to jump in.  They want to be a part of it.  OK.  But you’ve got to shove it away.  It’s a dark lonely road, if I told you, for you to stand on that platform at the end of this and the confetti comes down, and you stayed the course.  It’s really hard to do.  Easy to say.  Well, what does that mean?  That means people will say that this is the biggest game.  Come on.  OK.  We’re not falling for that anymore. 

It’s the next game.  It’s going to be a great challenge.  You are going to have to go on the road into a really hard place to play.  We have to play again at 2:30.  We didn’t even play our best football today.  There was some great defense.  At times, made some plays offensively.  Didn’t play great on special teams again.  OK.  And there’s some things that we have to correct, but what?  Isn’t that football?  Isn’t that sport?  Isn’t that what this is all about?  Getting better, one day at a time.  But you’ve got to collectively, listen to me, it’s not just the other guys.  It’s you young guys.  You have to make the choice.  OK.  Because the image one here projects the image of all of us.  You’ve got to make great decisions.  You’ve got to come back on Sunday ready to rock n roll. 

If you fall in love with the process, at some point in life, the process will fall back in love with you.  OK.  It will give you everything you want.  Back to January.  Friday night.  Saturday night.  Nobody here.  You could have easily took the hard road, but guys were in here working out.  When no one is watching, that is sacrifice.  It doesn’t just happen.  Greatness doesn’t just happen.  You’ve got to be willing to sacrifice everything.  In between 18 and 22 years old, that’s really hard.  It is.  It’s really hard.  Cause we’ve got a lot of things grabbing at us.

I couldn’t be prouder of you.  Awesome win for us.  It’s great for our family, great for everything, but most importantly, great for you.  Cause you sacrificed.  OK.  Because you sacrificed. 

But it’s not over.  To be honest with you, I could care less, they’re going to talk to you about a bowl, but I don’t give a shit about 6 and 6.  Remember, this isn’t about being 6 and 6.  OK.  Only bullshit programs care about being 6 and 6.  OK.  This is about staying the course, and at the end of it, did we reach our full potential?  And you can do whatever you want.  We’ve got to get better.  We must get better.  And we must demand it. 

Stay the course.  Stay locked in.  Come back tomorrow ready to rock n roll.  I love you, but I appreciate you.  I’m really, really proud of you.”


I ready to go play for this guy.  What about you?

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