Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Fun and Football

I watched most of the college football championship last night. I was pulling for the Clemson Tigers, having some friends and relatives who are alumni.

I noticed a considerable contrast between the coaches, Nick Saban of Alabama and Dabo Swinney of Clemson.

For Saban, football looks like all business. You don't take it too lightly or you might lose focus. You take it seriously, drill, work, plan, strategize and win. You win so that you can play in the NFL, make big money, and leave a legacy of success. You can't take your eyes off the prize, or you won't succeed. When Alabama does well, Saban looks just as sour as when they lose. Football is a business.

Swinney, on the other hand, lives his emotions all along the sideline. He cheers at first downs and touch downs. He mourns turnovers and blown coverage. He high-fives, and leaps. For Swinney, football needs to be fun. It's full of emotion and joy, as well as discipline and study. Football is a game.

I expect that there is more joy in losing at Clemson than there is at Alabama with a perfect season. Business is business. Football is serious business. Fun is frivolous.

It seems to me that Swinney keeps football in perspective. It is a game. It can be fun.

I need to keep that in mind when I take myself too seriously. In the midst of even hardship, I can choose to be joyful. Life can be serious, but it doesn't have to be a drag. It's not just about my production, it's about my living.