Are You Hungry?

“You gotta be HUNGRY!”

~ Les Brown

A few days ago I wrote about being a bandwagon fan of the Philadelphia 76ers and I still am.  I also wrote about hope and that no matter how much remains, a little can go a long way.  The day I wrote that post, the Sixers won that night and avoided being swept by the Boston Celtics.

I watched Game 5 with my son, one of the few people that truly believed with all his heart that his team was going to comeback from a devastating deficit.  Unfortunately it didn’t go our way and the Sixers season ended that night.  My son was extremely frustrated and kicked something as he went stomping up the steps to bed.  I’d like to say I was upset but I was a little proud that he graduated to a full fledged Philadelphia sports fan.  But I am a mom first and kicking things are frowned upon.  As I was locking up for the night, he reappeared with tears in his eyes and was completely heartbroken.  He ran into my arms and clung to me for a few solid minutes.  Passion can take you on a roller coaster of emotions and he quickly went from anger to sadness.  He really believed they were destined to do the impossible.  So we ended up having a good heart to heart even though it was way past our bedtimes.

I tend to look for lessons in the strangest situations but most of them come from sports since I’m an avid fan.  The following is what I posted on Facebook after the Super Bowl and what I hope my kids or any kids could take from the 2017-18 Philadelphia EAGLES and what they were able to do:

~ It’s a TEAM effort, you learn your role and you do your best each and every play. It’s not about your individual stats, it’s about the team.

~ That a back up player is just as important as a starter, next man up.

~ You play just as hard the last 5 minutes as you do the first 5.

~ Have fun, stay loose, ignore the outside noise.

~ There will ALWAYS be people that’ll say you can’t win, that you’re the underdog. Prove them wrong.

~ When you do lose, be a good sport. Don’t sulk, do not walk off a field without shaking hands.

~ When you’re wife tells you to retire after making a comeback to win your 5th ring, listen to her.  (Tom Brady and Giselle after the Super Bowl the year before)

So here is the highlight reel from the conversation I had with my son after the Sixers loss:

~ “Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built daily.”  One of my favorite quotes.

~ Talent alone will not get you where you want to go.  You must surround yourself with like-minded people, people that have the same passion you do, people with the same work ethic as you.  That is when the magic happens.  The Sixers have this, they just need time.

~ FAIL FORWARD! Failure can define you one of two ways.  It can knock you down hard, out of nowhere and you can choose to remain down, defeated.  OR it will instill a hunger in you that will only be satisfied when you achieve your goals.  It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, the hunger will make you stand back up, ready to try again.  Failure can be a beautiful thing once the initial pain subsides.  The pang of hunger will strike and it will grow stronger until you finish the job you started, it doesn’t care how long it takes.  Stay HUNGRY!

~ It stinks when your team loses.  Any Phillies fan will tell you that hearing the name Joe Carter still stings.  At the end of the day, these talented young men are playing a game and getting paid very well for their efforts.  They have passion for what they do but they are paid to entertain the fans.  After a tough loss, they go back to a fancy hotel and cry into a plush pillow.  They will be ok and so will we.  There are real problems in the world, sports allow us to take a break from them.  We have to remember that it’s just a game.  Keep your perspective in check.

~ A real fan will stick by their team through good times and bad.  Fair-weather fans come and go.  In life there are times when it’s easier to join the masses even if we don’t agree with them, rather than stand up for what is right because you stand alone.  Don’t ever switch teams because it’s easier to like the one that’s winning.  Loyalty will take you far in life.

~ The Sixers are a young, talented team, so are the Boston Celtics.  We could be on the verge of another Philly/Boston rivalry which are always fun in sports.  When your team plays against a team you hate, you make sure you’re watching that game because the players and the fans take it to the next level.  Again, in life you get better by playing or working with people that are better than you.  They will push you and make you step up your game.  Do not be afraid, be ready because it will be the best learning experience you’ll ever get.

~ You can be sad they lost.  You can be mad they lost.  But tomorrow they are still your squad. Make sure you always represent…

CONNOR

 

This is my boy waiting for the bus the day after the loss.  A true fan has been born and I hope that he takes a few of my “lame mom lessons” and uses them to become a better player because he’s already a great kid.

We can achieve anything that we set our minds to but we have to be HUNGRY.  Nothing worth having ever comes easy.  Put in the work, follow your dream and let your failures feed your hunger.

I’m A Bandwagon Fan

“Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game.”

~ Herb Brooks (excerpt from speech to Men’s US Hockey Team)

I am a die-hard Eagles fan and I love the Phillies and the Flyers.  I just never really got into basketball.  I have watched the 76ers here and there, I even watched the playoff run to the Finals in 2001 but I am not technically a fan.

So it makes sense that my sons hated playing baseball, have little interest in football and instead, discovered a love of basketball.  In fact, my son Connor has fully immersed himself into the sport and culture of the game and I love it.  Therefor, I have watched and cheered for the Sixers this year.  It just so happens to be the best season they’ve had in a very long time, hence my bandwagon status.

In a matter of days, sports analysts from across the nation went from labeling this team a group of talented young men that will be a force next season to a team that will win the conference now.  Nothing like a little extra pressure for an inexperienced group of players.  Making it through the first Round, they find themselves behind 3-0 in Round 2.  After the third loss my husband said it was over, there is no hope.  No team in NBA history has come back to win a seven game series after being down 3-0.  Even I am guilty of saying that they couldn’t win a Game 7 situation in Boston.  Then I looked at Connor and his face nearly broke my heart.

He wasn’t defeated.  He hadn’t given up on his team yet.  I was so mad at myself and my husband because we had taken whatever hope he had left and deflated it.  I just experienced my Cinderella story with my beloved EAGLES only months ago.  I felt like I was punched in the stomach when words like ACL tear and 12 month recovery were tossed around Week 12 of an unbelievable season.  I was about 80% defeated.  I liked Nick Foles but I wasn’t sure he would be able to put the weight of this season on his shoulders.  Not only did he pull his weight, everyone on that team believed in him and each other and they took down a dynasty (I’d use that term that describes a farm animal that BAAAs but I can’t).  So why can’t the Sixers do the same?

They can.  Just because it’s never been done before doesn’t mean it won’t happen or can’t.  I’ve never heard a version of a Cinderella story that started with Cinderella wearing Louboutin heels and couture gowns.  In the beginning she’s in rags, working hard and given no love.  But she never lost her faith and she was rewarded for it.

In sports, we never realize that we’re witnessing a Cinderella story until we’re close to the end.  No one would’ve called September 2017 Chapter 1 of the Eagles story because there was nothing extraordinary about it.  In hindsight, I would start their story on April 27, 2017 because Philadelphia hosted the NFL Draft on the steps of the Art Museum and I would finish their story on those same steps, February 6, 2018 when the Lombardi Trophy was hoisted by our Super Bowl Champs.

The odds are against the 76ers in this series, we can all see that.  But can we all admit that no matter how slight it may appear, there is still hope.  We don’t know what Chapter this is but it could turn out to be a great one.

So this bandwagon fan is going all out for this team tonight.  We are going to watch every game like it’s going to be the next great chapter in their story.  And I will do my best to show my kids that nothing is ever impossible just because no one has ever accomplished it before.  Anything is possible, you just have to believe.

GO SIXERS!!!