Some of you who are returning to my blog may have read my previous post entitled “The Worst Day(s) in Football”. If you didn’t bless yourself with that literary genius (just kidding) I’ll get you up to speed. The post embodied the emotion, pain, and sheer joy that comes with the cut down days in the NFL. Unfortunately, I was among those final cuts. Even though I knew it could be a possible outcome, it didn’t make it any easier to deal with. In all honesty, the week off was good for my body. It allowed me to take some time to rest up, and get past some of the nagging training camp bumps and bruises. Well, with 124 1/4 quarters of football in the books,(that’s approximately 15 1/4 NFL games) I can vehemently say that THIS SUCKS!! It has been the most frustrating this to sit back and watch former teammates on the field doing what we all love the most. What makes it that much more painful is that I know I can still compete at a high level in this league. So now I’m fully enthralled in the most common, yet horrible unpopular contest: The Waiting Game.
Everything in life, just like in the NFL, is all about the opportunities that you are awarded. The most important part that is often overlooked, is what you do with those opportunities. I can be candid about my training camp and preseason performance with Dallas. I believe I flashed some big play ability, and coupled that with solid, yet not overly exciting preseason games. I went into camp knowing I had an uphill battle to make the squad, but I had the utmost confidence in my ability. You can argue both sides of the story, but ultimately Dallas decided to go in another direction for the time being, and that leaves #13 in limbo. In between painting the ceiling and trim of a bathroom in my home, running routes at a local middle school, and lifting weights at the nearby super gym, I cannot help but ponder about my future. Did I take full advantage of my opportunities? Will I get the opportunity to prove myself to another team, if so, when?
Many folks say, “When opportunity knocks, open the door”. My only qualm with that statement is, what if opportunity is, like Mercury Morris says, in your neighborhood? You have to be on the ready for that opportunity to come onto your radar screen. I truly believe that if you are ready for your chance, you will be able to recognize that opportunity doesn’t always drive a Benz, but could be in a Geo Metro (no offense to the Metro owners). Many times, the smallest crack in the wall is all you need to get your start. I’ll be honest, it may not be the most glamorous beginning, but you are in the building at least. Now WHEN, not if, that opportunity shows itself, you MUST TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE!! The majority of success stories start from the bottom rung of the ladder, and the eventual victor fought, scratched, and clawed his way to the top of his profession. The more you can show your superiors that you can handle an and everything they throw at you, you will be awarded more, you guessed it, OPPORTUNITIES!!
At the end of the day, it is a novel, simple concept. Be ready, and take advantage. Unfortunately, so many people allow opportunities to pass them by. Then they ask themselves why did someone else get that chance, and they didn’t. That is not your place to wonder, because the circumstances may have been different. All you can control is your actions and your readiness. In closing, I challenge you, as I challenge myself daily, to STAY READY, SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO GET READY!!