Two missed field goals and a botched snap on a third. Kyle Wright taking a sack, one of ten I might add, instead of throwing the ball out of the end zone on 2nd and goal. Mental mistakes that lead to the use of all three timeouts in the third quarter. Coach Larry Coker and the Miami Hurricanes will look back on Monday night’s game against FSU and know they let one get away.
Yes, I am going to be the first person to say it. The better team did not win on Monday. Florida State did not beat Miami. Anyone who watched the game or reads the box score will tell you that. But at the end of the night, the only statistic that is important is the one regarding points scored, and as Monday night almost became Tuesday morning, FSU had three more points than my beloved Canes. And everyone in South Florida was left disappointed.
Disappointment itself is an interesting concept. Disappointment exists only because we celebrate and cherish qualities in life such as ambition, determination and dreams. We encourage our kids to think big and strive to be great. We plan our futures and look ahead to new and exciting moments in our lives. And because we do so, we open the door to that deflating feeling that is disappointment.
Do you think that people who chose to live their lives in mediocrity experience much disappointment? Do you believe people who accept their lots in life feel bad when things do not go their way? So why is it then that we allow ourselves to take Casey Kasem’s advice and “keep reaching for the stars”? I can’t help but think of that line in the Gin Blossoms song Hey Jealousy. “And if you don’t expect too much from me / You might not be let down.” Disappointment ….. a by product of wanting to be great.
Getting back to the game, it’s interesting how such little things can lead to such great disappointment. The failure to spin the ball so the laces face out on the field goal attempt. The failure to make an interception when the ball hits you right in the hands. The failure to pick up a blitzing linebacker. Take away any one of those mistakes and the outcome may have been different. But that statement holds true for every athletic game ever played, and just about everything we do in life.
But just because disappointment exists, it does not mean you don’t’ keep trying. Believe me, I am the poster boy of that statement. Try and try again and again and again. My dad hated the saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” Instead he would say, with an imperative tone that was nothing if not absolute, “If you can’t beat ‘em, keep trying!”
But who or what am I trying to beat? The odds? The circumstances? The naysayers? Why do I allow myself to be continuously disappointed? My failure does not stem from an opponent on the other side of the field, but rather from the apparently futile idea of believing in someone else. Some would say there is a clinical pattern of behavior in what I have been and am currently doing. Placing my hopes, desires and ambitious in the hands, and heart, of someone else is, to say the least, risky and consequentially unhealthy. Yet I fall down only to wince in agony, brush myself off, and do it all over again.
……and if you don’t expect too much from her, you might not be let down.
Disappointment. It’s sad and ironic and has become a part of life for me. A staple of my emotional diet. The sad part is that I have created disappointment in so many other people’s lives as a result. The ironic part is that all I wanted was to be great.
The Canes will bounce back, and I believe they will contend for the national title. As for my spirit, I know there is less and less bounce to be found. Each fall is harder and harder, and after a while you just kinda’ get numb to it all. I don’t know what would be more disappointing, missing out on your dream or simply not caring anymore.