Fourth and Inches

Mike Morgan - a pizza guy

The goal line stand in football is the ultimate manifestation of the forces at play on a football field. 1-yard separates winning from losing. That yard represents everything we have inside of us vs all of the forces piled up against us. But for some reason, when teams are on that 1-yard line, their game elevates. They become stronger and more focused. Their strengths become superhuman and they forget about their weaknesses. They become the best versions of themselves. I like to think it is because of the finality of that moment. They know that there is no tomorrow or yesterday. In that moment, they must simply give all they have.

When you listen to the stories of successful people, they speak of their own 1-yard lines. They speak of times when they pushed themselves beyond their limits and broke through into their new life. When they had everything stacked against them and they just keep pushing and churning to break free.

Where is your 1-yard line? It could be today or years from now. We don’t always know. What if we treated the very next yard in front of us like it was the 1-yard line?

What if we faced the next adversity or test as the 1-yard line?

As we look down into the grass we can feel the sweat burn our eyes on its way to dripping off the end of our nose. We can sense our aching muscles and bruised bodies screaming for rest. There is a strong feeling that we are at the end of the road. That we have nothing left to give. We want to take this play off. We struggle against the weight of our head to look up and meet the angry gazes of the forces that have lined up to stop us. They don’t look tired. They look angry…they look determined. We squint to see through the mass of violent bodies…where is our goal? We can’t make it. It is over. We tried hard, but we are done. As we prepare to take this play off, we close our eyes in resignation. The snap count begins, far away in the distance, barely audible. Through the blackness of our closed eyes we can see something off in the distance. We open our eyes and the tangle of massive defenders is still there, but something is beyond them. As it comes into focus we see the goal line. The white chalk is gleaming against the wet grass. It is so close. The defenders don’t seem so big and nasty anymore. The holes between them seem to widen. We can see the way in. We feel something rising up inside of us. It’s as if every muscle in our bodies are coiled and ready to strike. We can feel the tightness in our jaws as we bite down in a scowl of determination. We are getting to that damn goal line! In the last second as our eyes look up and through the defense, we glimpse something on their faces….fear.