Monday, November 12, 2012

Who is our pyromaniac? Who is our firestarter?

Getting yourself fired up with no provocation is one of the hardest things to do. In lulls of energy, everyone knows that if a small-ish number of teammates get louder and more animated and start playing balls out and physical, eventually the whole team will follow suit, and murder will ensue.

The problem is that getting loud and animated takes energy. Getting physical and playing balls out take energy. And the vast majority of humans, in situations like these, silently hope somebody else will do it. So they cross their fingers and wait, they wait to join the surge, straddling their emotional surfboards ready to paddle onto and ride the wave of energy their teammates will create. You will discover quickly that when this happens, you end up with 26 players, each with their fingers crossed, waiting for a wake that never comes.

I'll tell you one thing; we missed Coolidge this weekend. He can be counted on to buckle in and produce in our moments of need, and you can actually see when he declares by sheer will that he won't cede another inch of ground, and any pass foolishly sent in his direction gives us possession, and chills at how Kill Mode he got.

But one player is not enough to spread the fire. And yes, we have Brian Hart, and many other quality defenders; I'm not talking about defensive skill, I'm talking about fire. And not just being able to hold fire, I'm talking about the ability to create it.

Consider this: Once upon a time, there lived a human being. This human being was the first human in the history of our species to create a fire at their will, just because; they wanted a fire and - poof - they made it. Every single human before them had feared fire and desired it and saw how powerful it was but this human was the first to create it consciously, deliberately. Hundreds of thousands of years later we have bics and electric stove tops and furnaces in basements and we take it for granted that we can have heat on demand. (true story!)

The moral of the story is that it's easy as hell to bring the heat when you're handed the flame, but don't nobody wanna be the guy who has to light the torch. It's a tough job, much harder than putting your hand out waiting for the torch to be passed to you.

And so I acknowledge that I'm being demanding when I ask in huddles to spark the team up. It's asking a lot. And I ask it of you all not only in every huddle, but at practices and at workouts as well. Push yourself and us to another level; be the first Hodag to put in more. Am I asking too much? The question does not stay rhetorical; you answer it each time it is asked, through your actions.

And lastly consider this: compare the total number of open college teams that compete in the series with the total number of teams that are division 1 champions at the season's end. How grueling is the path that weeds us down? Are you each doing your part to propel us onward?

I hope the answer to my last question, from all of you, is, "yes." But of course, the real question here is, "are you doing more?"