Sadly, winning is everything in America, 2nd place is simply unacceptable. For years to come shame and judgment will be heaped on Seahawk’s coach Pete Carroll because of one lousy play call in the Super Bowl; his legacy is sealed. One bad decision never to be forgiven; hmm.
Ignoring poor American sportsmanship perfected by the likes of John McEnroe, Marion Jones and Lance Armstrong, I would suggest that Pete Carroll has been gracious and classy in the face of a humiliating defeat witnessed by millions. He calmly accepted responsibility, didn’t assign blame and didn’t judge anybody. Frankly, if I could go fishing with Pete Carroll or Patriot’s coach Bill Belichick, I’d chose Pete anytime; he’s a winner in my books. I don’t need inflated fishing stories, would that be “Watergate”?
Returning to the original point, for those who judge and snub anybody with history, like a criminal record, take a long hard look in the mirror. I always told my wife Patty that if anybody publicly humiliated or shamed her, I’d hire an investigator and thoroughly research the critic. I would find their really bad decisions, the dirt nobody is supposed to know and turn the tables around to level the playing field on my wife’s behalf. No, this isn’t an anger issue. I just believe a teachable moment should never be wasted. Sometimes you have to speak one’s language, like that of a bully or critic, for them to clearly understand. Judge and be judged, turnaround is fair play. However, with that said, my wife Patty has taught me that when you have been provided a second chance; there will still be critics. Her advice, ignore them; take the gift of a second chance and don’t let the naysayers get in your way. Until you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, keep your mouth shut and don’t share your views.
If you have shame in your past, join the club, we all have secrets, failures and vulnerabilities. The biggest critic often has the most to conceal, do not be intimidated by their bluster and shaming; offense may be their best and only defense. Real world defeat builds serious character; it forges resolve, values and vision in the crucible of adversity. If you have a record, an addiction, or failures that are a source of shame, do not be deterred. Surround yourself with people who affirm you, healthy people, not critics and pretenders. One person can be a good start.
Every day driving to work, I quietly pray. I admit to God that I am a weary edgy flawed hypocrite; I pray that my wife, sons, brother in law and others on my heart, especially those behind the wire, have a meaningful safe day. It’s nothing fancy, praying in a Prius amidst morning traffic, it works for me. What works for you?