“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.” (Vince Lombardi)
This past Tuesday evening I had the distinct pleasure and honor of kicking off the Sports Banquet on our campus that marked the end of another great season of competitive play for the Mavericks. Of course I was aware that a significant portion of what was celebrated that night surrounded the achievements of the individuals and teams that competed this year. However, I must also highlight a concurrent point of pride. The very fact that these Mavericks teams are comprised of students from both the North Central and Ohio State campuses should be seen as another shining example of how our co-located universities have been working to become true partners in all aspects of the higher education experience.
Most if not all of these athletes are involved in our athletics program for the pure love of the sport, be it soccer, volleyball, basketball, or baseball (and cheerleaders you also get your proper due here as well!). This kind of sentiment is echoed in the words of Mike Singletary, the great Chicago Bears linebacker, who said: “Do you know what my favorite part of the game is?” “The opportunity to play.” Yes, it’s the pure experience of playing itself that compels most athletes to remain involved in sports throughout their college years.
We might pause to consider why else we bother to support sports programs on our campus. As a partial answer, I believe that most of us would find some agreement with the words of Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, whose quote begins this communication. Using such words – spirit, will, excel – as a springboard, this implies that sports are meant to be a well-rounded part of the educational process. In essence, they help to educate us about life’s ups and downs, life’s wins and losses, plain and simple.
So please support our student athletes by attending games, or even more simply by congratulating them for another season of play. And in the meantime, as always please take the time to enjoy the weekend with family and friends!