Happy Friday, good person! :) Sheesh! my last post was May 15... ugh! When I look back on the start of the year, my first post was called "Define Time" https://www.gratefulman.com/post/define-time It was a metaphor / goal of mine to define my time, to take more control and purpose with this precious commodity and do something with it; rather than be done to it. The irony in me "defining time" is that I have done shit for managing my time very well. hahah! I have been intimately conscious of things i'm pursuing or attempting to change about me personally or my life in general. This happens in the darkness of the morning, or the darkness of the night when it's just me and my thoughts.... lots of thoughts, standing by for the action to follow. All that being said, one would think that I can maintain a weekly commitment of saying hello and wishing a good buddy a grateful friday, and of all years I've dropped the ball more than before. Reminds me of one of our coaching moments this past season with a number of our players. There were moments where they kept dropping the ball and just couldn't connect very well. It was easy to see them beat themselves up - some to the point of emotion. We would tell them that it's ok. You're gonna have days when things aren't going to line up the way you wanted and there will be days where you are just on fire. Today is one of those days that is reminding you that you can do better - but you need to fail first before you can be on fire. It will happen. :) For me, this is just one of those times for me when I'm not on fire... so, I'll just keep after it just as they did :) Our Saints football season came to a close just before Memorial weekend. Only being a couple weeks out from it, I do miss seeing all the team's wonderful faces. It was a fun and trying season. I wish we had a camera of how the footwork was at the beginning compared to the end. TONS! of growth! including us as coaches too. :) We started off with a 10 player team and as soon as our stride started to pick up, our clicks started clicking, we suddenly dropped to an 8 player team, having to totally reinvent our team as our QB was injured. All eyes on me: https://www.gratefulman.com/post/all-eyes-on-me The regular season consisted of only seven games. The Saints had played their asses off and got smoked on a number of them. We also had some clutch games that were lost in the final minutes. For the most part, all of the games were competitive but stressful in their own right. In light of all the stresses, game six however was earmarked for fun! Game six was against our playful rivals, the Broncos. The Broncos team was originally the 49ers the season before. In order to start the Saints team, we had to break up the band. The former 49ers were renamed to the Broncos. :) This season my best buddy Dustin and I were not the only new coaches, so was the Broncos coach. :) So when the season started we, Saints, hosted a fun scrimmage game against the Broncos. This was a legit home field game where we welcomed all parents to this practice, at Saints field. It was an ass ton of fun! No stress, just street football where all the parents came out and watched. It had the feeling of a reunion between the teams. Even though only our two boys, Tristan and Dylan came from the former niners, the other eight Saints players clicked with them as their own. Although with home field advantage, the Saints lost to the Broncos.. but it was a loss that felt ok. :) thankfully it was just a scrimmage! :)
Insert game six! :)
We had to wait for 85% of the season to be done before we could legitimately play each other when counted. We coaches taunted ourselves saying that we hope that each of us can score a win so ahead of time so that when game six happened that our first win wouldn't be against each other. The Broncos however would clutch their first win that weekend prior. In an effort to make game six special, my wise ass came up with the idea to find a rival trophy to be handed off at each game. So after a few minutes on the can, surfing the Amazon, I found the perfect frien'emy-rival trophy.
Game six was so important to Tristan that he decided to forego his school trip to San Diego at Sea World so he could be there for his team. Talk about a strange email to send his teacher! hahaha - especially after I had also gone to hell and back to get credentials to become a chaperone. Game six was picture day. And just before pictures, our two teams were photographed back to back. Perfect opportunity to tell the kids, each team, and let them hold the trophy to understand the significance. Throughout the game the Gnome sat right next to the scoreboard watching everything unfold. I wish I had a picture of that.... the cool thing is that all the parents knew about the playful banter between the teams, so everyone was in playful excitement for the shake out. Ultimately at the end of the game, the Broncos would find themselves on top and would take away the Gnome for the win. It sucked losing again... hahaha, but all the players were in a good mood. regardless of the loss.
And without missing a beat, once the Gnome was at home, the pictures started coming. LOL!
The idea of the trophy did exactly what it was supposed to do. Taunt and bring fun :) The Saints would not get our first win until game 7... the last game of the season. Everyone was thrilled! We coaches were kinda shaking with excitement when we brought that win home! hahah :) With only one win under our belt, us Saints found ourselves at the bottom of the standings. Thankfully though, in our league every team is guaranteed at least one playoff game - phew!
so you're saying there's a chance! hahah!
The way playoff seeding works is that the worst team plays the best team. The best team gets the easiest road to the championships. To our benefit, the season had an odd number of teams, therefore the best team, the Rams, got to sit this one out... which meant we had a chance to hopefully play more than just one final game.
As soon as the play schedule came out, guess what text message picture I received?!
The Gnome'y had moved and was now sending taunting messages to us.
Playoff game one was against the Broncos!
All teams were jacked! Everyone practiced extra hard but also had a lot of fun. It was the team's last supper prior to Saturday's game. So after an hour of practice, it was time to stuff dem faces with pizza! :)
Come Saturday morning, it felt like the last day of school. The two teams almost sat together on the same sideline haha :)
As anticipated, the Gnome'y found himself taunting us again. This time however, it was sent to the private coaches group chat of the entire flag league! Here he sits, adjacent to the end zone goal post, watching the Saints warm up.
What an asshole! Hahaha! :)
Prior to the game we had our coaches' conversation and pumped up the boys. There was excitement in the air as we had the opportunity to step on the field with a win right behind us.
And BAM! right out of the gate the Saints stepped it up! like! no game before! Why would they wait all season to play like this! hahah! :) The clicks were clicking! The happenings were happening! It was a totally different team out there. Come halftime there was a landslide lead about our frien'emy's. We had to keep the boys in check and remind them that they need to keep after it, there's a lot of football left!
Sur'nuf! them Broncos turned up the heat with their key player. If he stood next to the coach, that player could almost look him in the eye. Yeah. that kind of player. They started putting points on the board.
But ultimately, this time, it wasn't enough! Saints held their own and took the win home!! :) That could have been the championship right there! they were SOOOOOO happy!!! :) :)
A moment of congratulations :)
Go Saints Video
Saints would make it to play another game that afternoon against the well rested Rams. The Saints would put up two touchdowns with a lead. But it only took a little bit before the Rams were warmed up and firing on all ten cylinders. Saints got smoked.
With about 15 minutes left in the game we called a timeout. You could see how gassed the boys were. They were starting to take the loss personally and feeling bad. There was NO way of coming back for the deficit... So we brought them in and talked it out.
"Hey!" it's ok. The Rams are a better team than us and they're bigger, it's ok.... don't forget, you guys already played a game, they haven't. We beat the Broncos. We have the Gnome... guys, just have fun. Hey, do you want to play QB? Who wants? How about?...
We just let them go. We brought down the pressure. They boys found joy in just having fun. There was a moment where it was a turnover on downs and it was the Saints ball. We had lightened up so much we coaches weren't also paying attention. Our defense yells at me, COACH! it's our ball, defense is only out here. I yelled back, Hell with it! You boys make something happen, it's your call. Without hesitation, they huddled together, and our starting defense made one hell of an offensive pass play. One that we got good yardage on too. They were laughing as they came to the sidelines.
Man! That's what it was all about! :)
We ended up staying to watch the championship game. To our losing benefit, the Rams came out on top and won. Losing sucks, but it doesn't sting so much when you lose to the champs! :)
As soon as the day was over, the taunts reciprocated back to the Broncos coach...
I think Dustin's text read... "Hey, check out my new hood ornament"
Later that weekend Gnome'y found a new Home'y.
It took me a couple days to think about where we should put him. Then one day I found the sweet spot..
Now as I hammer these thoughts down, while Gnome'y sits on the can, he stares right at me through my office window. hahah!
Until next season, that is where he will chill out. :) Speaking of chilling out, I'm a bit overdue on that for this kind of Friday... I think I'll be playing some playstation tonight - I think. Have a grateful weekend friend.