It’s Sunday and the air here in Portland, Oregon is still and heavy. It’s quiet and there is a sense of change again in the air. On the walk this morning with my pal Noah I saw the first few leaves on the Old Oak turning brown. And as he chased a squirrel down the back streets of my childhood I am taken back to my youth and to many such walks and the memories came flooding back. All of the feelings of a generation ago hit me and it is all too clear that what I have always known is now more true then ever before.
We are all running out of time.
From the day we are born until the day we die we scratch, kick, and battle for air and for food and even more for meaning and purpose. That battle will go on in each of your lives forever and I hope you find what your looking for. For all of you who know me very well you will know that I go at life pretty hard. And the reason for that is that sleep to me is a waste of time and only a necessity I succumb to once and a while. I tried to stop those sands of time but lost that battle so my struggle continues to try and make a difference.
With over 3 Million unique viewers at the places I have chosen to write I have been blessed with the opportunity to share what I know. After 50 I guess you get to do that.
You readers at this site where we try and help the kids of the NW get to College by telling their story need to hear this and I want you to remember this. Most of you are right now living the best years of your lives.
It will never get better for you then this.
It will be different and there will always be highs and lows but for you High School players it will never be better. 98% of you trying to make it to college as a football player will not. That is backed up by facts and by the reality of the situation. The very small number of opportunities to move on are getting harder and harder to find as each day passes. For all of you we want that reality to happen if you really want it. But even if you make it that experience will never be like this one your having now.
Not easy to hear but there it is.
So let me ask you something? Have you been spending too much time trying to be the guy in the 2% and missing out on the greatest opportunity in your life?
The facts are clear that this time in your life, this 9th-12th grade period, is your chance to shine and to live and to achieve your personal best on the field. And the lessons your going to learn and have learned out there are not about football but about what you do with tomorrow and the thousands of tomorrows that are to come.
I want you to make this year and the rest of your High School years about you and your team mates. I want you to know that this is it. This is the time you have to make something special happen. Chasing the college dream is fine and it has its time and place but when August comes boys it’s on you to make it about your team and for you to fill your heart and soul with memories that will power your life. This is what it is about guys. And as High School Football is attacked time and again on almost a daily basis with the Money Making business side of the game we are all loosing that. And many of you are loosing that too before you should.
Shut it down boys. Turn to your coaches and your teams and parents and your fans and hunker in for the best of it. This is your reality now. Not a future dream that may or may not ever come true. The leaves are turning guys and football season is here. Friday Nights are coming and these night for 98% of you are the last nights you will ever have as a player and with these friends. For most of you these are the last nights your ever going to spend together.
This is your time to be Perfect! So go get it!
Forever Is About To Happen and It’s Your Time Boys.Do not let anyone steal this from you!
Well it’s real simple: You got two more quarters and that’s it.
Now most of you have been playing this game for ten years. And you got two more quarters and after that most of you will never play this game again as long as you live. Now, ya’ll have known me for awhile, and for a long time now you’ve been hearing’ me talk about being perfect.
Well I want you to understand something . To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there.
It’s not about winning.
It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends.
Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done.
Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart?
If you can do that gentlemen, then you’re perfect.
I want you to take a moment. And I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever, because forever’s about to happen here in just a few minutes.
I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles, who is your brother. And he would die to be out there on that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts.
Boys, my heart is full. My heart’s full.
“Friday Night Lights”; 2004- Coach Gary Gaines – Permian Panthers