I always wanted to be able to shoot a basket - I can't. No matter how long I would spend practicing, it never came. My lack of height may have had some bearing. :) On the other hand, ask me to throw someone out at second or make a 30 yard completion to a running back, I can nail it - we all have our talents.
But, I've been watching the UNI Panthers play for me in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. They can make the threes, heck, they can make the free throws (no I can't even do that) all while seeming effortless. However, I know that is all an illusion. Not one of those kids can just make shots. They have practiced, been coached, practiced some more, all with hopes of something like what came to pass this season.
When they launched into a successful season, fans were thrilled, but still no one saw them going to the dance. Yet, with hard work, hard-nosed coaching and perseverance, the boys in purple knocked off the top seed and gave underdogs everywhere hope - even me.
So, here is to a well played (and very well coached) season for the Panthers, may their 2010-2011 season be just as full of wonderful surprises and wins. And may we all take the inspiration and lessons taught by the Panthers and use them to play our own best games.
Yours in health,