I can’t tell you how many Friday nights I have sat up, listened to scratchy radio stations, flipped from channel to channel with the T.V. on mute, or checked and checked again websites for some score update that I knew wouldn’t be favorable. I think I have had it. I am at the end of my rope, and no, you don’t need to go call 911 because I’m in the closet with said rope. I’m not that stupid. It is, after all, just a game, right?
For as long as I can remember, Greg has been the underdog’s champion. He has fought, pushed, led, and worked to build programs and make a positive impact on some kid’s life, however small it might be. Is there a reward? Of course not. Well, let me clarify that, in most people’s eyes there is no reward. All too often, people judge a program or a school by the scoreboard. I don’t think that is how Greg measures success, at least I hope not, because if I were him, I would have given up a long time ago.
Here’s the thing. It seems like every team or school Greg has worked for has been the low man on the totem pole. It’s the poor end of the county or the red-headed step child of a school. Anyway you look at it, he is starting from a huge disadvantage. I don’t think I have one competitive bone in my body, but it irritates me beyond measure to see schools in the same county treated unequally. Greg has to do more with less. Less money, less support, less help, less care. When we left Wise County, I really thought we were moving so Greg would have a shot at a different kind of success. I thought we were going to a place that would value and support him. After two years here, I’m pretty sure that we are right where we came from. It doesn’t help that I teach at the other end of the county, and by other end, I mean complete opposite of where Greg is. So, I see the inequities on a daily basis.
Maybe I’m just tired of him trying so hard and always coming up short. Would it bother me as much if I didn’t teach at the school the county puts on a pedestal? Maybe not. Back to the whole giving up idea…maybe the reason I’m not competitive is because I am the eternal pessimist. I’m not just pessimistic when it comes to football, I’m pessimistic about everything. The final tab at Wal-Mart when we are going grocery shopping, SOL scores, major life decisions, you name it, and I think it will go badly. Thankfully, Greg is not like that. He’s not exactly a Pollyanna either, but he sure can see the silver lining when I think it has all been ripped out. And maybe, that is why Friday nights bother me more than they bother him.