OPINION

Green: Everybody winds up facing their giants at some time

RENAE GREEN

I’m not normally a football fan, unless someone I love is playing. Then I turn into one of those loud-mouthed, obnoxious moms that cause people around me to relocate their seats. (It’s a good thing for everyone in my community that my youngest has finished his football-playing years.)

Renae Green column

I am, however, a great fan of the underdog. I especially love it when the underdog becomes the top dog. It gives me hope.

One of my favorite stories is of the New York Giants. Back in 2006, they had a rough year. Their head coach, Tom Coughlin, was nearly fired. He had some problems with his players, and things just weren’t going well. Somehow, he kept his job.

            The 2007 season didn’t start out much better. The Giants lost their first two games of the year, and everyone wrote them off as losers. Has-beens. Wannabes.

            But they hung in there. They persevered. They kept their helmets down, plowed through, and won their next six games. They barely made the playoffs. Still, there were nay-sayers.

            “The Giants are just lucky.”

            “They haven’t got a chance.”

            In order to continue, they had to beat the Buccaneers . . . in Tampa Bay.

            “They’ll never pull it off.” But they did.

            Then, they had to beat the Cowboys . . . in Dallas.

            “No way. They’re goners.” Yes, way.

            Then, in the third coldest game in NFL history, they faced the Packers . . . at Green Bay.

            Despite the odds, despite the doubters, they rose up and won each and every game leading to the Super Bowl.

            But wait a minute. The other team to make it to the Super Bowl was the New England Patriots. The Patriots hadn’t lost a single game. They were 18–0.

            Going into this game, the Giants were the 12-point underdogs.

The Giants had to face their giants.

            New York trailed most of the game. They simply weren’t as good of a team as the Patriots . . . or were they?

            With 35 seconds left on the clock, the Giants threw a beautiful pass to score the winning touchdown. But then, they had to keep Tom Brady, the NFL’s best quarterback, from completing a pass of his own.

            Against all odds, they did it. The Giants won the NFL Super Bowl title!

            I love that story. After all, I’ve been in their shoes before. We all have at one time or other: feeling like failures, like everyone is against us, like we will surely live up to all the negative things people say about us. But the New York Giants are living proof that with hard work, perseverance, and a little faith, we can come out on top, despite the odds.

            I guess it comes down to the choices we make, day after day. We can choose to believe the worst about ourselves. We can listen to the naysayers and the critics, set our goals low, and avoid disappointment. Or we can believe the best, set our goals high, and get to work.

We can sit around and stew over what might have been. Or we can put our helmets down and plow through.

The Giants knew they could win. They knew that for them, the Super Bowl was a possibility. They ignored the doubters, the naysayers, the critics, and they pressed on. And on and on until finally, the only giants left standing were . . . the Giants.

Makes me feel a little taller, just thinking about it.

Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward . . .”