In following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it was almost refreshing to hear the England Head Coach state “That’s football” during the post game interview after the 1-1 tie with the United States. His statement was in response to the keeper mistake that allowed the US goal and to the eventual tie. One might expect the coach to be more colorful, to be more animated, to react in a more emotional way. But he didn’t, he all but dismissed it entirely and I think there is a lesson in that approach.
The sooner we can get our kids to realize that some things just happen, they are just life and by the way, life isn’t fair. The sooner they can accept that not everything happens for a reason, at least not an obvious one, the better. Society has turned to excuses and reasons for any failure, trouble or even triumph. There always has to be something to blame. Or does there? Can’t we just chalk a few things up to “That’s football”?
Sure, there are times that we want to stress that we are in control of our destiny, we have the tools to do something, to make better decisions, but we also want to make sure that the inevitable “That’s life” is an option sometimes. Finding the right balance may be part of the challenge, you don’t want to reason out everything to nature, but in my mind if we can avoid finding the cause or excuse for everything that goes wrong you are making strides to put your kids in control of their own lives. We are responsible for what we do, what we allow to happen to us and how we react to it. The Blame Game gets us no where.
So sure, “That’s Football” is a great frame of mind that diffuses the situation and allows everyone to move on to the next chapter. I am all for it. Enable everyone to learn from the past but don’t let it control how we react to the future. Hat tip to England’s Coach.