I got to go to the first college football game I've been to in years this weekend. The weather was quintessential football weather, cool not quite cold, cloudy with a crisp feel of fall in the air. The setting was in the northeast in the oldest football stadium in America. The players were a throwback to another era. They were scholar/athletes who will never play in the NFL but will leave college and go to work with the rest of us.
What was odd was that we were sitting in an 80,000 seat stadium with no television cameras, fancy scoreboards or high ticket prices. We weren't there to watch a Heisman contender or a candidate for the football playoffs. We were there to watch two football teams play the game, do their best and struggle to win in the mud.
My family began to poke a little fun at the spectacle. It did seem a throwback. There weren't tens of thousands of cheering fans. The "marching" band wore suits and didn't march. There was no apparent security. It was Division 1 football but with a difference. It made me think.
The players weren't there because of the cool uniforms. Or the great locker rooms either. They were there for an education. And to play a game they loved.
Did they play any less hard because of the things they "lacked"? No, it didn't look like it to me. They played their hearts out. They "competed" with everything they had in them. At the end of the game one team prevailed. But both teams won.
This is what sports is supposed to teach us. Through our lives we aren't usually on the biggest team. We are often not playing in the company of superstars. We probably don't have the fanciest of offices and we may not dress to the nines. We may not receive accolades, attention and adulation from "fans". But we can compete.
Competition is relative to time, place and league isn't it? In our agencies we have the opportunity to play the game every day. To fight and win accounts large or small. We do our best. We fight hard for our agency team, our families and ourselves. We don't always prevail on every account we compete for. But when we struggle in our daily work, to do our best, we always win.