Friday, November 20, 2009

Letter from Coach Hanlon to the team.

from Big T from the Victors message board.
The Victors Message Board

To the Men in Maize & Blue,

As I stood on the sideline outside the Glick Field House, my mind was filled with mixed thoughts about this season. Nothing seemed to go right, no luck at all. Fumbles, missed assignments, dropped passes, missed tackles, open receivers on defense all produce negative vibes.

All these thoughts seemed to emanate from the practice field in the late afternoon. I could almost feel the frustration and disappointment of not winning hanging in the air. Is it worth all the time and effort? All the time with Mike [Barwis] on the field and in the weight room. All the time staying up late to study or finish a paper. All that negative reaction from the media and some fans. All that hollering endured from coaches. Why should we play such a fickle game called football?

Then I turned and saw Elliott Mealer's brother Brock sitting back away from the sidelines in his wheelchair. He had the biggest smile on his face as he watched all of you cavort around the field. He too complained to me how hard Mike had worked him out. But he was elated because he had felt a muscular sensation and couldn't wait to come back to push himself to the limit as he continues to try to gain control of his body.

At that moment it occurred to me how stupid and selfish we, who are involved in the game of football, sometimes are. To be able to run and jump, to throw and catch, to be talented enough to play at the college level, and now be a part of the greatest rivalry in college football should be cherished and appreciated.

You who feel sorry for yourself or somehow cheated should not suit up for this game. Only those who realize how lucky they are to play this game should face this challenge. Only those who are willing to lay it all on the line to gain the respect of your teammates, your coaches, and most of all, your opponent, should show up Saturday.

It is sometimes hard to show what kind of man you are. Now you can exhibit the intelligence, the courage, the determination, and the loyalty it takes to be a winner. If every man in a winged helmet becomes as one you'll be a force to be reckoned with.

No matter the outcome, you can walk up the tunnel with your head held high and just maybe a little better man than you were before, and with a smile like Brock.

Coach Hanlon

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