The team filed into the locker room at halftime. Everyone was discouraged, upset because we were losing by thirty points.
“Hey boys, we’ve gotta step it up and we gotta step it up right now. No more messin’ around. Let’s put forty points on the board and send these chumps home with their tails between their legs,” barked one of our captains.
Another shouted “We should be killin’ these guys.”
“These guys aren’t very good, but we need to come together as a team,” uttered our quarterback. “Everyone’s gotta pick it up. Linemen need to hold blocks, backs need to run the right hole, and receivers need to run the right patterns. We have to work together.”
These were all very good suggestions, but that is all they were. We sat around for the remainder of halftime analyzing what we needed to do to come back and win the game. Everyone had their opinion, and everyone let everyone else know their opinion.
We ran back onto the field as a team. We were willing to sacrifice ourselves of one goal: the win. We felt like a well-oiled machine that was going to take the ball and drive it down the field and score. Everyone knew exactly what needed to be done. Everyone needed to do their job because if a machine is going to work, all pieces must be functioning. If one gear or cog isn’t working, then the whole machine is useless and unproductive.
Our self-analysis at halftime was very accurate and our machine looked very nice from the outside, but there was one problem; there was neither power nor gears to get the machine running. The second half was very ugly. Our well-oiled machine was sent to the trash compactor and crushed into tiny pieces.
This experience helped me realize something that I have always been told. I realized that actions speak louder than words. Even if we spent hours and hours determining what we needed to do, it would be pointless if we didn’t actually do something about it. Anyone can talk about what needs to be done, but the person who is successful actually does something to make his or her words come true.
I believe that this lesson also pertains to life and anything else that can be thought of. It is like what Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The real men are the ones who go out and do what they say they are going to do, no matter the circumstance.