but wanting to win is!"
- Vince Lombardi
Green Bay Packers
Look back at Lombardi. He bred and led champions. the NFL has named its coveted championship trophy after him and in his honor. He was a pioneer in the sport's history-making era. He stood out as a man who could lead men, a man's man and a player's coach. If there ever was an example of gridiron guts and gallantry to behold, Lombardi was the prime example for all to lay there eyes upon.
Today's NFL is nothing like Lombardi's heyday. Hard work and determination have been replaced with performance enhancing drugs and off-field antics that border between publicity stunts and public disgraces. Bountygate has taken prisoners among both players and coaches, revealing true character as it has unraveled before our own eyes. The NFL currently suffers more black eyes than Pacquiao after his last bout.
The sad truth is that Lombardi's words speak to our character once we get set on winning. We become consumed with winning at all costs. We will cut corners to get an edge on our competition. We will kick an opponent while he's down and out, leaving him with no recourse except to wave the white flag of defeat. That's what becomes of us when we let a "winning" spirit take over and consume us.
That doesn't have to be the case, though.
He that loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver;
nor he that loves abundance with increase:
this is also vanity.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10
Putting our focus on the prize can detour us from the right pathway. There are no shortcuts to righteousness. Purity and holiness do not have a cheat code available to a select few. No, the Lord shows us that a wise choice is to take the moral high road rather than to stoop to the level of cheater just to get ahead.
Our desire to win should remain in check as win people over on our way towards achieving the prize.
Order a copy of my urban poetry collection Words from the Underground