ON THE TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS November 12, 2012 #410 Coming up next…A show of Character!
After further review…As our country completes a way-too-expensive political campaign that reached absurd levels of character assassination, how do we recover from the divisiveness that took place? Was it just politics? Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson defined politics as follows: “’Poly’, meaning many and ‘tics’, meaning blood suckers”. Did all that negativity serve a useful purpose, or was it just a tired and tawdry exercise? What effect will it have on our young who saw this nastiness every day?
How do we teach our young people that what they witnessed was superficial political posturing that often obscured or ignored the true natures of the candidates? How do we create a positive climate that builds and strengthens the type of personality rooted in this country’s essential character?
Sports have long advocated the building of character as a primary tenet for its reason to exist. Many have said, “Sports may not develop character, but it can certainly reveal it”. Sports coaches can have a direct influence on building an athlete’s character. Further, teachers in their classrooms and parents in their homes have a “coaching responsibility” as well. In my book, “It’s the Will, Not the Skill, we write “Excellence is good, exemplary is better”. We teach character better by example than by preaching. The values of teamwork, diligence, attention-to-detail, faith, hope, charity, self-sacrifice, trust, honesty and the like are best taught through modeling.
Enter Indianapolis Colts head football coach Chuck Pagano, who assumed that position in January, 2012 only to be diagnosed with leukemia some nine months later at the beginning of this NFL season. Pagano, currently on medical leave from the Colts, recently made a surprise visit to the Colts locker room to give them an emotional boost. Pagano’s leukemia is now in remission, yet he faces another round of chemotherapy treatments. Standing before the entire Colts T*E*A*M and administrative staff, Pagano, with his hair now vanished due to his treatment, talked about “extra-effort” and “never giving up”. In the days following that appearance more than 30 of the Colts players have shaved their own heads in solidarity with their coach’s battle. Does the word character need any further explanation? It is the hope here our country will show the same support of unity of purpose.
Will you use the strength of your character to support others?