Junior’s Lessons Are Larger Than Life
It isn’t often that a city receives a shock. Rarer still does it happen to a state. When it happens to an entire country, it is significant. However, it is incredibly rare when the reason comes from the world of sports.
On a Wednesday morning in early-May, my wife called out to me, “Junior Seau’s dead!”
Now, the death of anyone always is a concern. But, I live in Oceanside, as did Junior, and had the privilege of following his impact not only on football, but on a community and country. You didn’t have to love football to be a fan of this man.
Mostly, though, we’ve had a lot of “wait until next year” talk. But for 13 years, Junior made it more tolerable, even during worse-than-usual seasons. And we’ve had our share.
No one ever worked out harder, prepared longer, or focused more on the task at hand than did Junior. He would cram for his “test” on the field, up until the last few moments in the locker room, before every game. When guys got down, he’d lift them up. When the other team scored, he’d be exhorting his teammates, “Stay up!” He practically willed them to get better, try harder, run faster, jump higher. And, if a loss came, which it often did, he’d own up to it at the press conference.
As contractors, we can relate to a guy like Junior. This business is tough. We get clobbered and blindsided. But Junior would get up and get back in the game. He played hurt. He inspired others, from teammates to fans.
In today’s economy, doesn’t it kind of feel like we are playing on only one good leg? One of the reasons Junior was so successful was that he loved the game. He once said, “Great players feel the game.” How about us? Do we feel our own game?
During one particularly dreadful season, with a losing streak underway, Junior rallied the team but would not take credit for it. With him, it was always a “team” thing, a “we” thing. He told a reporter, “We did what we had to do. Getting a win was key.”
You might expect that such a man would live aloof and out of contact with people. Not so. Junior often sat on the deck of his Oceanside home, watching the waves or surfing on them, hanging out with regular people. His foundation raised millions of dollars in scholarships and helped hundreds of kids go to college. Kids from the streets, from middle class homes. Junior helped everyone.
We see some of this in our own industry: funding scholarships and providing training to youngsters. In times of national disasters, like earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, the construction industry is on the front lines, helping people. When you think it, we are very Junior-like.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 17 June 2012 20:32|