Greetings, Lion fans, and the staff here at The Wire wish we had better news. With the announcement yesterday of the cancellation of championships in all fall sports in Division II, the almost certain run that the Lions would have at a national title in 2020 is not to be. Further details have been reported today that, in football, teams will be able to play up to a five game abbreviated season without current players losing eligibility. It’s very bittersweet, to say the least, but it’s a far better solution than having no football at all, and seniors leaving Commerce without one chance to excel.
Let me say this up front….I’m writing from a perspective of football. It’s the game I know, love, and played at one time. So, while this may be from a point of view from the gridiron, the same sentiments could be applied to any sport, men’s or women’s. So, for all of you athletes that wear the blue and gold, whether it be football, men’s or women’s basketball, track, golf rodeo, and women’s softball….this one’s for you.
There is so much uncertainty and upheaval in the world right now. We’ve never been more divided as a people. There is an overwhelming amount of anger everywhere we look, and the news reported all seems covered with doom and gloom.
The field, however, is different. Much like Denzel Washington’s character, Herman Boone, said as he was staring out at the field, in Remember The Titans: “Yeah, this is my sanctuary, right here. All this hatred and turmoil around us, but this……this is always right. The struggle. Victory and defeat.”
Nothing could ever be more true. So much of life is uncertain and clouded in gray. The field, the court, the course, the track…..that is always right. There is no uncertaintity. Only victory and defeat. It’s really simple. Things like race, sexual orientation, economic and social backgrounds disappear. There, we are all one. One purpose, one goal. To give our best effort in order to be successful. To bring honor and glory to our team, our school, and in turn, ourselves. Go on YouTube and search for Bill Curry’s essay, “The Huddle.” It explains this far better than I can.
I learned just about everything in life from sports. Teamwork. Disicipline. Sacrifice of individual goals for the greater good. That things aren’t always fair, but you still have to do your best. Trust people that are different than you. I had some good teachers of those things, a lot of them right there in Commerce. Ernest Hawkins. Boley Crawford. Bobby Fox. Jim Walker. Colby Carthel. Caid Faske. David Bailiff. Jack Welch. Joey Caldwell. Jaylon Finner. I’ve gotten to know them all to some degree, and I’ve learned something from all of them.
So, if there’s a five game season, I’ll be there. It will be a little welcome normalcy in an otherwise crazy and uncertain world. You see, it’s more than just a game. Like I’ve written before, for me, it’s a visit to the fictional bar, Cheers, “Where everybody knows your name.” There’s no better place to be.
To today’s athletes…….enjoy this time you have in Commerce. Revel in it. This is a very special time in your life. You were meant to be here, now. What you bring here lasts four or five years. What you leave here with, lasts a lifetime.
Yes, I will cheer for you while you are here, wearing the blue and gold. I will cheer for you when you make a play that helps the Lions win. I will cheer for you also when you walk across that stage and get your diploma. I will cheer for you when you get married. I will cheer for you when you become a parent. For no matter where life takes you, you will always be a Lion.