There are moments in this lifetime when we are tested. No matter how great you are, there will be times you fumble and times you make that one throw you wish you could take back. There will be times that someone outsmarts you or outplays you. There will be times the opponent will come at you and tackle you down…over and over and over.
That’s not what defines you.
Great men get back up no matter how many times they’ve been tackled. Champions take mistakes and failures as challenges to become better at their craft. And those rare few that go down in history, well, they get the toughest test of all.
This is where you are, Patriots. You are Champions, on the verge of becoming a sports legend. This is where the masses will do their damnedest to bring you down. They don’t want you to win and they certainly don’t want to see you go down in history.
This is why they scrutinize every little thing you do. It doesn’t matter what the other teams are doing, they’re not the ones on the verge of greatness that very few will ever see in their lifetime. They want to tear you apart. They want to build distrust between you. They want to see the verge of a legend crumble around their feet and celebrate their victory in doing so.
That’s what defines them.
But this moment? What you do? This is the moment that will define you.
You have the skill. You have the smarts. You’ve worked hard to be where you are and deserve to be where you are. So has your opponent.
There’s going to be one thing that separates the both of you, no matter what the outcome.
And that’s Heart. Not to be the best or better than the other guy. That’s not heart. That’s a competitive drive all athletes have.
Heart is something else.
The rare glimpses of those miracles when you see a team united at heart is the reason I’m a sports fan. I wait for these moments. I’ll watch a whole lifetime waiting to feel that and share in that moment as a fan. It’s worth all the times you’ve fumbled, or made those bad throws or the times opponents knocked you down.
You got back up. You’ve faced the scrutiny of those who will do anything to break you. This isn’t a game. Not this time. This is your moment, gentleman. “Now go out there and take it!”