We had folks over to celebrate (and then mourn) this year’s NFC Championship game.
Sure, we’ve lived in a few places over the years and always root for local teams. If you’re from Louisiana, however, the New Orleans Saints are in your blood.
The Saints ended up on the wrong end of the worst no-call in playoff history.
We’re talking an epically, monumentally, can’t-believe-what-you-just-saw travesty of justice.
If the right call is made, the Saints have a 98% chance of being in the Super Bowl. (Stats folks figure that stuff out.)
After the traveshamockery (hat tip Bob Odenkirk) of that call, the Saints lost in overtime… and their season was over.
Good friends from back home continue to send me links and clips expressing outrage. I, myself, got a bit more passionate about the situation than is wise (or healthy) for an adult human being.
After a day or so of seething, I told a friend that I’d allow myself to feel depressed for only one more day. That would be my grieving period.
When he joked about taking away my “fan card”, I joked back, “I’m still a fan. I’m just not signing up for perpetual victimhood on this one. How much mental and emotional energy do you have to throw at something you cannot change?”
He stated that the commissioner had the authority to order a do-over. I responded, “Dude, there are no do-overs in life. Don’t hold your breath.”
He then spoke of rules changes that need to happen and I said, “Well, that’s different. Getting fired up and improving things for the future is smart.”
I do sympathize. My argument isn’t even “It’s just a game.”
Humans are driven by feelings, and feeling cheated evokes very powerful emotions.
We all have freewill, also.
Some may choose to feel cheated in perpetuity. If not careful, however, that forms a habit… and we all become our habits.
Extended agonizing over a negative event seldom generates positive results. Using those powerful emotions to motivate you to change and improve things going forward, however, can.
In our personal and professional lives, sometimes the calls go our way… and sometimes they do not.
It’s up to each of us to decide how much of our finite mental and emotional energy we will use up on past events we cannot affect… and how much on things still in front of us that we can.
I know it is early, but I’m pretty sure I have already seen what will be my favorite sports clip of the year.
I doubt I will see any performance this year that will impress me more in how an athlete conducts himself or herself.
I’m a big tennis fan and one of the maniacs who watched the Australian Open finals at 3:00 AM here in the United States. The performance that impressed me came from this tournament.
That said, the episode was not from that final…or any actual match, actually.
It was an out-of-the-spotlight, walking-to-the-locker-room incident caught by security cameras.
You can easily argue that Roger Federer is one of the 10 to 20 most famous athletes in the world. In some countries, he would rank much higher.
On the grounds of one of tennis’s Grand Slam events, it is hard to imagine a bigger celebrity.
The clip that I watched on LinkedIn showed Federer coming off a practice court and walking through the hallway toward the locker room.
He wore a tee shirt and carried no bags or equipment.
When he attempted to walk into the locker room, a lone security guard watching the door pointed out that Federer wasn’t wearing an ID tag.
Federer did not so much as shrug his shoulders.
He stepped aside and waited for his small team of trainers to arrive with his ID tag. Once they did, Federer referenced the security guard to make sure it was okay that he enter the locker room.
I am quite certain Federer could have initially laughed, ignored the guard, and walked in.
Alternatively, he could have asked him to take a step into the hallway and look at the many murals of the guy he was not allowing to enter the locker room.
Yet, he didn’t. There were thousands of people on the grounds who would gladly stand in long lines to get an autograph from Federer… and one older security guard who didn’t seem to know who he was.
And Roger smiled and politely followed the same rules everyone else is asked to play by.
The most impressive thing to me about this is that the way people treat others who have less stature, rank, power, or resources tells you all you need to know about what kind of person they are.
People who show respect to everyone are worthy of respect from everyone.
How worthy will you and your teams be today?