I promise I will be getting back to football and the X’s and O’s later today and continuing this week, but I cannot skip over the recent turmoil that has become a big distraction to this team. I will have my Notre Dame thoughts up later, but here are my thoughts on the latest suspensions at Wake Forest.
On a radio show last week I was asked a question about my experience as a Wake Forest football player. I think the interviewer was looking for a predominately football answer, but when I stopped and reflected on my experience one thing came to my mind immediately: GRATITUDE.
I started my answer by stating how grateful I was for the opportunity to play college football. Like any student-athlete can attest to, there were times when I perhaps didn’t feel as grateful as I should have (5 am workouts in the freezing cold, football practices ending at 10 pm and then having a big test the next morning, pressure to perform, etc).
After being in the real world for last nine months I realize how wrong I was for even thinking that. I would jump at the opportunity to go back to college and live that amazingly carefree life.
The grateful part of my answer had to do with Wake Forest. Wake is a well-known school with amazing professors and a hefty price tag. I came from a much more supportive family than most college football players, but without football I would not have attended Wake Forest. Aside from the steep tuition costs, I probably would not have even gotten into the university based on my grades alone as I finished in the top 20% of my high school class. That is how competitive this university is.
That being said, I just don’t understand how some people can take that for granted. Most football players, or even “regular students”, do not walk away with the same level of education as we Wake Forest graduates do. So when I see a player getting themselves into trouble for something they can control makes me sick.
There are hundreds of similar thoughts on message boards about the kids not realizing what they have. I’m here to tell you that you are probably right. My parents always taught me to count my blessings, but I’ll admit I did not realize how blessed I was until I graduated. It is apparent many of the current Wake Forest players, all former teammates of mine, haven’t figured it out yet either.
Coach Grobe always preached how good we had it as players. We got to go to class and play football. Coach Lobotzke used to tell us horror stories about the dorms and the PT he endured while at Air Force. His favorite line was “I would have loved the country club lifestyle you guys live, I went to the Air Force Academy.”
I think the following quote spells out the lesson that needs to be learned better than I can:
“Appreciate what you have, before time teaches you to appreciate what you had.”