Jun 25 2009

Reflections on Omaha


This year was the first time I have ever really followed the College World Series.  What a great year to start!  Of course, I got into it because the boys from Baton Rouge were headed to Rosenblatt.  And I’m so glad I followed the whole series.  It was a really wonderful experience for me and my family, in the air-conditioned comfort of our living room.  As I reflect on my first College World Series adventure, several interesting life notes come to mind:

1. Life really is a team sport.  We need one another.  We need the strength of teammates.  We need the energy of others to lift us up when we are down.  We need the perspective of teammates and coaches to calm us and challenge us when we need it.  I just can’t win on my own.

2. We play better with great fan support.  Frankly, with LSU, sometimes the only clear divider between players and fans is the wall that separates the seats from the field.  This is true for all of us, not just athletes with official jerseys.  We need to know someone knows us and is rooting for us.  Alone is hell.

3. Despite our best plans, life often reminds how much is out of our control.  From rain delays to wind changes to umpire bags that can’t hold back the sweat of two hours in 100+ degree heat, life can really throw us some curveballs.  (I just couldn’t resist that one!)  And we can get bent out of shape and camp out in our disappointment, or make some adjustments and play on.

4. Life is played in seasons.  And seasons are marked by stretches of routine, interspersed with moments of great drama, great rejoicing, and great agonizing.

5. Living well takes a lot of hard work and discipline.

6. Life can be tons of fun, especially when we are willing to put in the work at the right time, and then relax and enjoy at the right time.

7. Beneath our various uniforms, we are all people in the same race.  I was so grateful for the way ESPN included life stories about the players and coaches, as it reminded me that these guys may be focused on performing in certain roles right now, but those roles are just roles.  It isn’t who they are.

Take me out to the ballgame!

4 responses so far

  • Roger Butner

    8. Life is better with a ballpark dog!

    9. Life is better with crazy gaudy beads draped around your neck?

    10. If you don’t “make the play,” you might get Boooooed. Even if you are a girl who isn’t even actually playing in the game, and the umpire was in your way as you went for the ball rolling off the homeplate screen. But life goes on.

  • http://gatheringrubies.com Janice Garrison

    Roger, when I first looked at the title of your blog today, I saw “Reflections on Obama.” :) and I must admit I groaned.

    I like your analogy of life being a team sport. We definitely need to encourage each other and build each other up. Hmm, wonder where we’ve heard that one before. Oh yes….I remember now, from the one who makes coffee for his wife…”He-brews” :) Sorry, that just popped out of the cobwebs of my mind. And we certainly have our mountain top experiences and our dry spells, mix in the hard work and discipline.

    Yes, it’s great to be alive and we do play better with team support.

    After reading your post I now know more about baseball than I’ve ever known. If someone mentions baseball, I know there is a ball, a bat and a bunch of sweaty guys and screaming fans involved. You see, I’m sports ‘challenged.’
    Good Post!

  • Roger Butner

    I think I will definitely leave the “Reflections on Obama” to others more informed and savvy than my self! 😉

    Glad my post resonated with you, and educated you a bit in the process. Thanks for your comments, Janice.

  • Leslie

    Hey Roger! Happened upon your blog today…we are doing great! Moved to St. Louis in March and are about 4 weeks from being in our new house. Joe really likes his job up here and the kids are doing great. The baby girl will be 1 in August…how time flies! We actually went to Omaha opening weekend for an early father’s day for Joe (his alma mater Southern Miss played also). I still owe you a reflection of our story…I haven’t forgotten! Take care! We miss you and talk about you often! ~Leslie