by: Kevin Butler (Grit University Intern 2022-2023)
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Tom Brady retired? As the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs get ready to brawl it out, I would like to take a moment and talk about seizing the moment. This NFL season was wonderful to watch with so many stories and moments about players getting their opportunity and making the most of it.
First off, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith had been bouncing around the league as a back-up for most of his career, then the Seahawks traded their franchise QB, Russell Wilson, away to the Denver Broncos in exchange for some young players. After 9 years, he finally got an opportunity to lead a presumed underwhelming Seattle team to a 9-8 record and a play-off spot while also leading the league in QB rating for a long stretch in the regular season. After a few weeks of play, he said in a post game interview “they wrote me off, but I didn’t write back.” It goes to show that even as an experienced player who many had thought would be a back-up his whole career, won comeback player of the year, led his team to the playoffs, and has sealed his fate as a starting quarterback.
Another player that comes to mind who really seized the moment was Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. The last pick in the 2022 draft, third string quarterback to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, came in after Garoppolo got hurt in week 13 and never looked back. He made history in week 14 being the first quarterback to beat Tom Brady in his first start, led the 49ers to an 8-0 record prior to his injury in the NFC championship, and was the first rookie quarterback to throw 4 touchdowns in his first playoff start. Talk about seizing the moment! Most NFL critics would analyze him and say that he did not look like a rookie the way he carried himself and led the team with poise.
I think that is what is so amazing about sports and competition, the channel given to people to seize the moment and show who they really are. It brings me back to Grit Camp and a poem we read, The Man in the Arena where Theodore Roosevelt says ““It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.” This perfectly summarizes the majority of the underdog stories that make our heart feel good.
PS: FLY EAGLES FLY