Sunday, January 11, 2009

On The Tunney Side of the Street #211, Jan. 12, 2009 (

After Further Review M. Scott Peck wrote in “The Road Less Traveled” that “life is difficult” -- sometimes interpreted to mean “life is not fair.” Often we hear someone say “Why me, Lord? Why did this (bad break) happen to me?” On the other hand, when one receives a “good break” or “good fortune,” do we think “I really deserve this?”

When the San Diego Chargers lost to the Denver Broncos in the second week of the 2008 NFL season on an official’s missed call, the Chargers Nation was quite vocal proclaiming the “why me - life is not fair” pule. Throughout the 2008 NFL season, as the Broncos kept winning and the Chargers kept losing (4-8 in the first ¾ of the season), the fans kept referring to that “bad break” in the Broncos game.

Then, as the Chargers revitalized their season and the Broncos lost 3 of 4 games that they were favored to win, things began to even out. So it came down to week 17 – the final week of the season as the Broncos played the Chargers in San Diego with the winner advancing to the playoffs. The pundits were saying, “The Broncos and Chargers now control their own destiny.” Huh?

Just an aside note: You can control what you can do next, but not your destiny. Destiny, by definition, cannot be controlled – it is what it is – “fate.” Anyway, destiny set up that final game – Broncos vs. Chargers - and the Chargers won, sending them to the wild card playoffs where they were paired with the Indianapolis Colts, who by nature of their 8 game winning streak and a 12-4 record (vs. the 8-8 Chargers record) and an earlier 23-20 victory over the Chargers, were favored to win

Here’s where “destiny” comes into play. With the score tied at 17 at the end of regulation game time in that Colts – Chargers wild card playoff, the game went to O.T. (overtime). A coin flip determines who receives the kickoff. The Colts captain, as the visitor, called “heads.” When the referee’s coin landed, it came up “tails” – the Chargers won the toss! Was that fate? Destiny?

NFL statistics show that 60% of the time the team that wins the coin toss, wins the game. The Chargers did just that with a run by (second string running back) Darren Sproles, who scooted 22 yards for the winning score 23-17 Did the “breaks” (e.g. winning the coin toss), even it out for the Chargers?

Will you do your best in 2009 no matter what “bad breaks” befall you?

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