The Blind Side Moments
By Jennifer A. Garrett
Aaron Rodgers is one tough quarterback. Known for his arm strength and high-arc passes, this guy is the "King of the Hail Mary," among other things. Although Rodgers is a solid player, there are times that even supermen-like athletes get hit and knocked to the ground. But what happens after “the hit” is what separates the good from the great.
Take the recent NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and host Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, who finished the regular season as the NFC’s top seed, were favored to win. However, the Packers had been putting up an average of thirty-two points ever since Aaron Rodgers announced the Packers would “run the table”. It was expected that this game would be a thrilling match-up between the two teams. And indeed, it was.
With five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, the game was tied at 28-28. The teams traded field goals one more time and were tied again, 31-31. Only 35 seconds remained. Green Bay fans were confident this was enough time for Rodgers to work his magic. In the typical Aaron Rodgers fashion, the Packers started moving the ball down the field. They were on their own 42-yard line.
Then the blindside hit … Cowboys safety Jeff Heath came from behind with a jarring sack, resulting in a ten-yard loss. Rodgers never saw it coming. 18 seconds left on the game clock.
But Rodgers wasn’t done. Two plays later, he connected with Jared Cook for a 36-yard completion. In the final three seconds, Mason Crosby nailed the game winning field goal. Final score: Green Bay 34, Dallas 31.
In my book, Move the Ball: How the Game of American Football Can Help You Achieve Your Life Goals, I write about how these “blindside moments” can, and will, happen to all of us. Even athletes who are calm and cool in the most intense of pressure situations, are victim to the blind side. Now while most of us aren’t on the football field battling it out for a chance to get to the Super Bowl, each of us are quarterbacks in our own life.
When playing our own life’s game, there are unforeseen events which set us back. While we cannot always control what happens in our lives, we can always control how we respond. A couple of months ago, I lost my father unexpectedly. Then three weeks ago, I was laid off from my job. I experienced a double whammy of the blind side…talk about emotional rollercoaster.
Remember the lesson though: when you get knocked down, you dust yourself off, get back up, and keep playing the game. This is one of the many lessons football taught me as a kid.
When unforeseen circumstances surface on your life’s field, be sure to stay mentally-focused like Aaron Rodgers and don’t lose sight of winning. Let the blind side moments be just that… A moment. Take the time you need to re-group, then focus on moving the ball forward and don’t stop until you get into the end zone.
Jennifer A. Garrett is an internationally recognized football author, coach & motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter at @getintheendzone. You can also purchase an e-book version of her book here (Move the Ball: How the Game of American Football Can Help You Achieve Your Life Goals) on Amazon for $2.99 from February 27 thru March 5.