You see, I am a momma to three. My oldest just turned 9 and has finally gotten into football. Before this season he probably just thought he had a set of weirdo parents who clapped and yelled at the TV. But this year, this year he gets it. The bug that is college football has bitten him. He loves it and he especially loves all thing AUBURN. Now, because he has just figured out his love of the big orange and blue he was saved of the heartache that was our 2012 season. He didn't have to experience the loss, after loss, after loss, after.. I digress. He was fortunate enough to enjoy our "season of destiny". The LSU loss stung, but he was just getting into the season. It wasn't until the Texas A&M game that y'all hooked him (and woke the rest of college football up and made them take notice-- War Eagle!). After that it was win after win. He thought y'all were unstoppable. Then Geogia happened and I saw the first glimpses of his fantasy crumbling. But y'all pulled it out. Then again with Alabama. What an emotional roller coaster of a game! Again, I saw my son's competitive side over dominate his sense of good sportsmanship. Then the unthinkable happened. Ohio State lost and Auburn was heading for a national title after getting another SEC championship. My boy was on cloud 9. So for the next month he studied up on all things Auburn and quizzed me on all things Auburn football (which sadly I failed at.. I mean really, am I really supposed to know who they played in 1950 and if the QB was left handed or right handed?). For a full month, day in and day out, he talked about every game, every play.
Finally, the day arrived. Auburn vs Florida State. He was a ball of nerves, but it seemed we had the game locked up before the half. Then the unthinkable happened and we let the game slide through our fingers. No last minute "miracle", just the sting of a shoulda, coulda, woulda been loss. And boy did it sting. My boy was crushed. Crushed. Dreams of TP'ing our tree out front dashed. The reality of having to go to school the next day and face his friends replaced his dreams of walking in school a victor. Tears were shed, sobs were had... But then, a teachable moment. A chance to learn some humility. A chance to build a little character. It. Is. Just. A. Game. A game that I would have liked for us to win (I had dreams of TP'ing the tree out front, too), but why not learn and grow from a loss? So that's what we did. We hugged him while he cried, but told him also that it's part of life. You win and you lose. You fail sometimes, but you keep your head held high and try again. It's how you take a defeat that shows what kind of player you really are. And when you can take the good AND the bad is when you know you are a pretty great player. I want my son to be one of those players. Not just in a game, but in life. We'll get there, prayerfully, soon.
So thank you for allowing a loss to be a lesson learned. I know it's not a crystal football, but I think it's value is worth so much more.