Don't Let Adversity Derail You

Sam Bardford holds injured armListening to Bob Stoops always is inspiring. The head football coach does some of his finest work when the chips are down and seem to keep falling. When he kicked the starting quarterback off the team right before the start of the season a few years ago I, like the rest of the Sooner Nation, was aghast. But in the end, that was one of his best seasons, coaching-wise.

Until the 2009 season, that is and with injuries decimating the team every week it seemed like things could not get worse. Coach Stoops once again rallied his troops, and the fans. They may have been 8-5 – unheard of in the Stoops era – but last season certainly did not spell the demise of the football program. It was a setback. A new season is upon us and optimism is in the air.

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the annual coaches luncheon, sponsored by The Citizens Advisory Board of Cleveland County’s Child Welfare Unit, better known as the C.A.B. The place was packed and for a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Secret Santa program and Special Needs program developed by C.A.B. Volunteers work with the Department of Human Services to provide Christmas for Cleveland County kids who are in foster care.

Coach Stoops gave highlights of the upcoming season and it got me to thinking about the fall semester. Much like the football team, a lot of times in life, you just gotta roll with it. If you begin each semester with 18 hours ahead of you and expect to make all A’s, you might be setting yourself up to fail before you start. It’s OK to have high expectations. The entire Sooner Nation expects to go undefeated in football every year but come on. How realistic is that?

We can expect it but things happen. All the time. Your All-America tight end goes down before the start of the season. Your Heisman-winning quarterback is leveled in the first half of the first game and is done for the year. So what happened? Adjustments were made. The line-up kept shifting. The team kept playing.

That is my message to you. Life is about making adjustments in the face of adversity. There is no way around it. It’s a new season. If something happens during this semester that seems overwhelming, don’t let it derail you. Don’t look too far ahead. The Sooners focus on the game at hand, play it, and move on. We are all wise to follow their example.

Update: The College of Liberal Studies was renamed the College of Professional and Continuing Studies in 2017.