I was sorting through some mail at home the other day when I found two pieces of mail that were addressed to someone else. The address was not even close, nor was the name. I couldn't believe it. How could that mistake have happened? I bet no one would even notice until I returned the letters to the post office.
The fact remains that somewhere down the postal chain of command someone made an error. Whether the sorter missed it at the plant or the carrier was negligent in his delivery, someone sent me someone else's Victoria Secret catalogue and credit card bill (I should have kept the catalogue!).
Strangely enough, that little episode had me thinking about football. More specifically, it had me thinking about family and football.
The letter carrier/sorter in my little story probably had no clue about the error they had made. Even so, if they did, it is easily remedied with an apology. And almost no one would ever have known about the incident.
I am sure when he goes home at night, he doesn't have to explain the situation to his kids, or to his mom who lives in another province. His wife won't have to go to work and answer questions about her husband's performance.
We live in a fishbowl, and so do our family and friends.
As much as I would hate to be Randy Chevrier if I ever snapped a ball over Burke Dales' head, I would moreso hate to be my wife, sitting up in the family section of the stands when that happens. I can imagine eyes staring down at her implying, 'What did your man just do?' And she would have no answer because she had no control over my play.
As athletes, we choose to do what we do. And no matter how anonymous our job is within the team, we still perform in the limelight. I can snap the ball perfectly for 10 years and no one would have a clue what I did. But if I messed up one when it counted, everyone would know that I was the guy that messed up.
Whenever we play, everyone can watch what we do. What other occupation allows your family, friends, and neighbors to participate in your emotional peaks and valleys from anywhere in the country? Very few, I would think.
Our families often bear the fruits of our greatness and the brunt of our failures. Athletes learn to quickly develop a thick skin because of the nature of our environment. Our family members have a harder time with the ups and downs because their lives are generally normal, except for right after a game when dad is either a hero or a zero in the eyes of the public.
There are three F's that we live by -- Faith, Family, and Football. They are the priorities in our life, and nothing should come before. I also like to look at those three F's in this manner: 'I have Faith that my Family will be there long after Football.'
When watching the Stamps, whether you love us or hate us, remember that we are not alone out on the field. We bring with us everyone we hold dear, and they do likewise. And yes, just like the mailman, we will deliver the mail into the wrong hands once in a while. And although a simple apology to the fans is not enough, know that it pains no one more than ourselves and our families.
HITS TO THE HEAD
- In winning the 50-50 draw at the game Calgary Sun beat writer Ian Busby made just about half of what a first- year CFLer would make.
- Sandro De Angelis looked more like Zack Thomas of the Miami Dolphins as he made an unbelievable tackle on a kickoff return play. The return man had one guy to beat, and Sandro flew down the field full speed, filled the hole and blew up the returner.
- In a case of art imitating life, I am beginning to think the black and white stripes of a referee's jersey really do represent the irony that sometimes they are good and sometimes they are bad. I haven't counted yet, but I am betting there are more black stripes than white ...