Monday, December 14, 2009

The Privilege of Practice

Congratulations to the Houston Texans, their coaching staff, and fans on being one game shy of .500, and not being offically mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

But let me tell you a little story that will illustrate the problem with the Texans:

Just so you know, Tuesday is the "day off" in the NFL. In certain situations, head coaches will reward stellar performances on Sunday with an additional "day off" for the team's players on Monday...meaning the team gets the next two days off before reporting to practice and offical meetings regarding the installation of strategy and schemes for the next opponent. It's a big deal for players, even if they do have to swing by the stadium and facilities for physical therapy and/or other incidental tasks and errands.

I recall in my youth seeing taped post-game locker room addresses to his team by Dennis Greene after a big win. The excitement in those young men upon hearing they would be given the next day off was amazing. But, one time, even after a big win, their coach said, "We got a big win today, but we've still got some things to work on. I'll see you tomorrow."

Why does this matter? Because after last week's loss to Jacksonville I read that "although the Texans are usually given the day off following a loss, they will be working hard on Monday preparing for Seattle." Are you kidding me? Championship and otherwise playoff-caliber teams relish the opportunity to improve, not seek shelter from hard work to make what's wrong right. What do you mean they customarily recieve the following day off as reward for poor performance? They haven't even earned "far and few between" additional days off following wins comprised of 60 minutes of effort and excellence. Not that there have been any.

The Paper Texan says, "The thrilling experience of victory in competition is necessarily preceded by the genuine satisfaction that comes from having prepared for it." Get the pads on fellas, and run the soreness out of your legs.

It's your privilege, afterall.

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