In the spirit of Rivalry Week and in the spirit of the famous Max Hall statement, “I don't like Utah. In fact, I hate them. I hate everything about them. I hate their program, their fans. I hate everything. It felt really good to send those guys home.” I am going to take this Red vs. Blue moment to state, “I hate Bronco Mendenhall.” And during this Holy War, that is strictly in a biblical football coach type of way. (I am sure if he were my neighbor, I would take him cookies at Christmas and wave at him from the mailbox.) I just think, on a football level he is a candy butt (edited for my sensitive readers).
His” Football is Fifth “philosophy goes totally against my core values and beliefs. You are a head football coach for crying out loud—Football should be Numero Uno in your life! I can’t even fathom being married to such a marshmallow! I guess your “blue blood” like that of Prince Charles allows you to prance around on a pony and cross you legs while you give media interviews. But this America Bronco-not England--football, apple pie, Chevrolet-grow some balls and be a man.
When a man wants to put his family first—he puts his heart and soul into his career. Can you imagine Steve telling “Noahs” that they come fifth in his life? I know that Steve loves me dearly because no matter the weather, the financial ups or downs, the “crisis’s at work, the bickering between employees, the missed flights, the TSA groping, the bad hotel rooms, etc. etc. Each and every morning, his feet hit the floor and he puts on his “helmet and pads” and goes to work. When a man puts his friends first it is because he put his career first, and then a late night call from a teenager in trouble can be solved. When a widow needs help; there are the means to help. When a single mother needs a place to have a wedding, we have a place because someone put “football” first. And don’t even get me started on putting “ faith before football.” Faith is an action word. Faith is having a friend come to you with a sketch of a building on a napkin and saying, “I will help you” make your dream come true—let me go home and call my dentist, he might be interested in helping.” Faith is watching an empty field turn into a building. Faith is pleading on your knees, day after day, week after week, for God to help you to “win the game.” Football always comes before faith unless you are so secure in your cushy Cougartown life that you don’t have to play by the “sweat of your brow” anymore.” I am glad that my Dad was a “ football” player, even when he had to play the swing shift or graveyard. I am glad that my father in law was an All-American Teamster truck driver.I am glad that my boys and sons-in –law have their heads in the game!
I agree with the words of a great, winning football coach that I can respect, Vince Lombardi:
It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there - to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules - but to win.
And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.
I don't say these things because I believe in the "brute" nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - victorious.
(Boy, that was close game, my heart is still beating.)