Regaining Momentum

Monday night was the college football BCS National Championship game played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. This year’s championship game featured the #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles and the #2 ranked Auburn University Tigers. There was a significant amount of hype surrounding this match-up much of which had to do with Auburn’s story-book season filled with last minute game-winning football miracles, Florida’s Heisman winning freshman quarterback Jameis Winston who had led them to a perfect season coming into last night’s championship game, and the fact that the BCS system would no longer be used to decide the college football national champion. In the name of full-disclosure, I never liked or understood the BCS and certainly shall not miss it.

As I settled in to watch the game it was clear from the opening kick-off that Florida State was in trouble. Auburn’s defense was simply beating the stuffing out of the Florida State offense, while Auburn’s offense was taking yards by force. With about 5 minutes left in the first half Auburn held a 21-3 lead and had again held Florida State to a three-and-out possession. However, the tide of the game completely shifted when Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher called for a fake punt on fourth down which led to Florida State getting a new set of downs then marching down the field to score a touchdown and end the first half of play with a margin of 21-10. Ultimately Florida State would go on the win the game in dramatic fashion, a final score of 34-31

Monday night following the game Coach Fisher spoke concerning that 2nd quarter fake punt stating, “We had lost momentum in the game, it was 21-3…with five minutes to go, if they got it back and scored the game could be over right before our eyes.” Coach Fisher’s remark concerning that play which shocked the entire stadium was simple, what his players needed at that moment was to regain the momentum in the game.

This really struck me as a Dad. There are moments when the many obligations of my life seem to drain my momentum in my role as Dad. I can have multiple draining days at work and come home simply exhausted night after night, spending no time with the children and just flopping onto the couch and zoning out.

These are those moments that I think every Dad experiences, when there is so much pressing us from every side that we begin to lose our momentum, to just concede to the many matters pressing us from every side and disconnect from our families. I also believe that many Dads have experienced the internal guilt that comes along with this loss of momentum when we know that we are not engaging at the level we should be.

It is at these moments that college football has something to teach us. Coach Fisher called a trick play to wake up a team which was becoming apathetic and playing defeated on the field. May I suggest that occasionally when we find ourselves posting a losing score in our performance as Dad we may want to call for a trick play. If you haven’t engaged for a while, be spontaneous, at the outset of your day call for a family game night, volunteer to help your daughter with that school project, tell your wife you want to sit on the couch and talk for a little while.

While this won’t necessarily get your energy back it will help you regain your momentum and as we learned last night, momentum can make all the difference.