Fast forward to January and the national championship game and the Alabama victory. Did you notice that it was not only a win but also the first ever BCS title-game shutout? Almost impossible, really. It might not ever happen again. But wait; there’s something more incredible.
With a minute to go (and the game long-since over), an end on a punt “accidentally” jumped offsides. Alabama Coach Nick Saban went crazy. Why such emotion for a measly five-yard penalty? Well, I have watched football for more than 50 years and I have never seen one game with any team that got penalized for zero yards, especially more dramatic for a championship game.
A coach’s caveat is that every 50 yards in penalties will cost you seven points. All successful leaders preach that “cheaters never win and penalties are the rewards for cheaters.”
What’s the lesson? Life has for all of us a final destination. We pass on to our lineage a philosophy — core values, if you please. All of us are “on the field” every day. Cheating to win in education, sports, business, politics, marriage or whatever has become the expectation, and so our kids and grandkids watch our game. Why pay attention to the rules when winning becomes everything?
Two concluding thoughts: Let’s go fetch a new batch of integrity and pass it out before it becomes extinct, and let’s consider Bear’s wisdom each time we salute our favorite team, “Better to lose than cheat.”