I have always had great respect for the one who never got to play. Who seldom got in the game. Regardless of the sport.
They did not quit. For some reason they did not quit the team. They continued to be a part of the effort, often never playing (at least not when it mattered). But there is really so much to say about the one who does not quit. I coached competitive sports for about fifteen years and there are names of so many kids I can still remember. It's interesting that some of those names are the kids “who never played.”
I especially remember one young man who seldom played on our basketball team who would sit next to me on the bench. He was always asking questions and he was always “in the game.” These many years later I still recall his name and wonder whatever happened to him. He would have no idea that I would still remember him today. After all, “he never played.” I remember one game in particular when we were getting blitzed he said to me, “Coach don’t you think we better call time out?” Another time he said, again when the roof was cavin’ in, “Coach don’t you think we better change defenses?” I said to him, “Probably so.” To which he replied, “Well, we better do something quick.” You might note he always used the word: “WE.”
There is something to be said for the one that seldom gets into the game. If you are a fan I hope at least on occasion you pay some attention to the ones who are not on the floor or the field and notice the ones sitting on the bench. After all they did not quit.
(Tom Brokaw—A Long Way from Home)
So I would say to everyone the next time we see a kid sittin’ the bench it might be said of them, “Maybe he’s learning a lesson that a lot of others will not.” That attitude merits our respect.
November 28, 2013