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 Every Play Matters

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scottn
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PostSubject: Every Play Matters   Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:03 pm

Every Play Matters
By Scott Newport


One Saturday afternoon I was visiting Mott Children’s hospital
at the University of Michigan and spending time with a father. Bobby is from Akron, Ohio and his newborn daughter, Mia, has been struggling with a serious heart condition for almost six months. While sitting by his daughter's bed, we talked.

Between him administering meds through a tiny tube and annoying,
beeping monitors and changing diapers he talked about his younger
days. As he paused for a moment and started to put his large hand to his chin, I said, “My son Noah is starting football practice on Monday. Did you ever play?” Turning toward me as though I should know, he said, “I was the quarterback.” He then went on to reminisce. “Scott, I’ll never forget the time I was knocked silly on one play and had to sit out. At halftime we were behind and the coached asked if I was ready to go back in for another play. I still don’t remember that half but after the game I found out I had run over two hundred yards and we had won.”

Driving home I couldn’t help but think about Bobby and his family and how they are enduring this tough time in their life, one day at a
time, one moment at a time. I thought, as soon as I get home I am
going to tell Noah that when he starts football on Monday, every play
matters. I am taking “Every Play Matters” as my mission statement for this year.

You see, I really believe the things we learn when we are young will
last a lifetime. I have always loved our Royal Oak Chiefs football
program. There is nothing like going to a practice and seeing over 100 kids from ages seven to fourteen scattered out on a field and the numerous committed coaches teaching. The team colors are red and yellow and have always been a symbol of a burning flame—for me, a seemingly inextinguishable fire.

Like Bobby, Noah and I spent months up at Mott hospital. We were there with Evan—my younger son and Noah’s little brother—when he was just a newborn. He also had a serious heart condition.

When Evan was seven years old Noah asked the coach at the last practice of the season, “Coach, can Evan come in for one play.” After Noah signed to me I pushed Evan up to the scrimmage line and he got his chance, his one play. About a month after that, Evan died. During that cold winter, I spent many moments wondering if Noah would still be a Chief.

I love the Chiefs program and all it has done for our family. The team
has taught Noah about commitment and me a little more about life and the challenges that come our way. I guess stories like the one about Bobby and his strength are nothing new to teams that already
understand that every play matters.

Maybe I don’t even have to tell Noah. I’m guessing now he probably already knows.

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Lora
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PostSubject: Re: Every Play Matters   Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:24 pm

Very inspirational. The sad moments really put things in perspective. So sorry about little Evan. I am certain you have a lot to draw from when it comes to helping others. You're writing shows it.

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PostSubject: Re: Every Play Matters   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:39 am

HEy Lora, thanks for taking the time to read. Yes, loss has a lot to draw from although at times I wish I had not become a painter of words. That said the theraputic value is well accepted.

Scott
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PostSubject: Re: Every Play Matters   Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:11 pm

Yeah, I know what you mean. Writing has helped me to get through some stormy times. I guess that's where they get the term "tortured artist."

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