Thursday, May 15, 2008

Don't take it for granted. Live your dreams.

Athletics, Art, Music, Acting, speaking and Writing, ultimately, when they are done at the very highest levels, it is inspiring. To be good at any of that stuff you have to want it, and you can’t take it for granted. You have to have some talent to be sure, but you really need to have a passion and a zeal for it.

I saw Urban Meyer speak last night about the upcoming Gator Football season, but that speech was about so much more. It inspired me, and it moved me, and it made me think. I spent $73 dollars to attend the event, every damn cent of it worth it.

It was two speeches in one, or you could say it was one speech, with an underlying moral message within itself. It came at you on two different levels, It was about football, but it was also about life. It was about passion and it was about the struggle we all face and what makes you successful as a football player, but also about what makes you successful as a person.

He started off explaining how after the end of last season with the very disappointing loss to Michigan in the Citrus Bowl, he was down. He said it made him physically sick the way the fourth quarter of that Michigan game ended up.

He went on to explain how Nike has a cruise they offer to the stable of Nike Coaches. He didn’t want to attend, he wasn’t in the mood, he was pissed off and he just didn’t feel right about it. His wife, Shelly, who, by the way, is absolutely beautiful, insisted that they do. He told us how that cruise and the things he learned, changed his attitude. And he told how he brought back that perspective to the team.

I am going to paraphrase Urban Meyer here in this paragraph and this quote as well, It was by a coach who lived around the turn of the 1900’s named Yost. “when you start taking things for granted, if you don’t have the love and compassion and enthusiasm you will not be very good” You have to love the struggle. Meyer also quoted Vince Lombardi, and again I paraphrase: " A man feels best when he finds himself laying on the field of battle, exhausted, having given his all and ending up victorious.” Both quotes are about football, but both quotes are really about the struggle we all face in our lives. Ultimately you have to embrace the difficulty, that’s why Ray McDonald is in the NFL right now, because that kid worked, when he found out he had blown out BOTH ACL’s and the doctors were telling him he was through. He didn’t quit. He worked. He embraced the struggle. It was clear Meyers message was about not taking anything for granted. Just don’t do it, appreciate what you have and work your ass off to achieve more. Don’t settle, demand greatness, live your life and live your dreams.

His speech also emphasized how Football is a part of life and it acts as a magnifying glass. If you play football half ass, you will not only lose, you will get hurt. It’s such a beautiful sport with its objectives and its roadblocks, strategies and how the physicality is so brute, but so beautiful. Urban Meyer talked about how He gets to run out on that field in front of 95 thousand fans and that he is living his dream. He made it clear that the players realize how lucky they are to be able to
do what they do, and that he will damn sure, make sure that they will realize not to take this for granted, so they will work.

When its 95 degrees out and the players are working their asses off, that’s about the struggle, that’s about not taking anything for granted. He told of the first five years of the SEC Championship game. Florida was in it EVERY year, After the 5th year, they won the National Championship. During the next ten years the Gators found themselves in the SEC championship game only twice. It is hard when you are on top to come back and not take stuff for granted. Urban pointed out what made that coaching job by Billy Donovan so awesome. The second year, if that team doesn’t win the National title game, it’s a failure, talk about pressure. Billy Donovan calls it “the team having its edge.” As you may know, that team did win during the second championship season.

You could tell from Urban’s speech this upcoming Gator Football team will have an Edge. He said that in all his years coaching College Football "THIS offensive line may be the best he has EVER seen." let me just repeat that word: EVER. EVER EVER EVER. They are 9 deep. He talked about the running back position and how Chris Rainey will text message him to let him know that he is up to one hundred and seventy eight pounds. The kid came in last year at one fifty eight. He ran a 4.2 forty yard dash, and was the star of the spring game. He loves that kid because that kid is living his dream and that kid understands what a special opportunity he has to be great.

He talked about the wide Receiver corp. That unit starts off with Percy Harvin. Isn’t he only the finest wide receiver in the entire country? That Defense has 7 solid Defensive backs, a solid Defense all filled with hardworking humble and grateful kids. I am telling you, Urban Meyer is very confident in this upcoming team. He is focused and his confidence just oozed out of his very pours. The whole room took on an aura about it. It was inspiring.

His description of Tebow? He said in his opinion he is the Best FOOTBALL PLAYER he has ever seen. He made it clear that he doesn’t necessarily think he is the Best QB, just the best FOOTBALL PLAYER. He didn’t come out and say it, but his speech made it clear that this will be a Hungry football team with loads of talent and he doesn’t expect to lose this year. Let me
say that again, He told me non verbally to be sure, that he does not expect them to lose. He never said that in words, but you know what, communication is only 7 percent what we say and the other 93 percent is non verbal. He said it by how he said it, and what he talked about. He said it with his tone and he said it by what the message was all about. He said it by what he didn’t say. I never heard the words, but I feel it in my very DNA. This is a good football team, and those kids will understand how beautiful life is if you seize the opportunities it will provide. I can tell you this, its One Hundred and seven days till kickoff of that first game. I am already starting to get fired up about it, and that was even before last night. I love College Football in general and I love the Gators specifically. Damn straight, that was a good night for sure.

plus as a side note, there was this Green stuff in a gravy bowl. Turns out, you put it on your skirt steak. Even that was awesome and something new for me, and I will never take a green looking spinachy thing in a gravy bowl for granted again. I mostly looked at it and wondered, until another Gator fan coached me up on it. Know why I am not going to take that for granted? Cause I got the message from Urban. Don’t take anything for granted. Embrace the struggle. Live your dreams.

Rick, thank you very much for the link!


Quin Browne said...

time is not my friend.

always live your dream is what i actually believe..and encourage people to do...

Bill From Gainesville said...

Time will mess with you pretty bad. I can tell you my life is not where I envisioned it. Damn situations pop up that you dont expect and then you dont deal with them well? anyways we all struggle to be happy in this world and embracing that struggle is part of making it liveable.

Anonymous said...

Billy-Billy, You are just lucky that your mighty Gators don't play Auburn this year. We own Urban!!! He has never beaten us(and never will). War Eagle!!!! - S.T

Bill From Gainesville said...

S-T -- you aren't really Anon if I know who you are and I love that you COMMENTED and I will even give you a damn WAR eagle myself Stupid Auburn, ruined our NC chances in 2001 with that stupid duval kick stupid 93 and 94 bowden fools.... and of course LAST YEAR stupid stupid Tubberville....