Hi guys, TGIF! No but literally, T.G.I.F.
I haven’t been this happy to see a Friday in forever. Like, usually I’m happy for Friday’s BUT this one, I genuinely could not be more thrilled for.
Mostly because of my desperate need for some relaxation.
I woke up at 2:36 and immediately decided that I wouldn’t be running this morning. Steven was set to leave for Northern Iowa this morning, and aside from being torn apart about not being able to go on the trip with him, I didn’t feel like running at 5, getting home at 6:15-6:30 and literally just crossing paths with him as he left for the bus. Upon the alarm onset at 4:15, I promptly text the group with a simple “I’m out. Enjoy the run.”
I had intentions to run this afternoon, but I knew this morning that they were half-hearted. I thought some coffee and a busy day at work would wake me up, but by lunchtime, as I was contemplating a nap in the Kroger parking lot, I knew that running was certainly not happening today.
What made me super happy today was getting to see my good friend Kim and her daughter Addie. Kim was super thoughtful and when she found a dress at Belk that didn’t quite work for her, she text me to see if I might want it! It’s a beautiful white Tahari dress, super classy and I am in love with it. I already have big plans to wear it on several different occasions so I am hoping that it works when I try it on.
Kim is currently injured and hasn’t been able to run in about 8 weeks. I miss chatting with her dearly in the mornings, but we got to catch up quickly this afternoon and she was telling me about how she felt that her injury was just a part of God’s plan to remind her that we are all human, and that sometimes, we can’t do it all. Our running schedule is so demanding, and we all have lives outside of running to attend to. Kim has two kids who are growing up before her eyes, a wonderful husband and a beautiful home to keep up with. She has “demands” from friends and family, and sometimes it’s tough to do everything, and do everything well. I have been feeling so discouraged lately, and a quick chat with Kim was just what I needed to remind me that we ALL have different seasons during which we thrive, and right now it just may not be my time to shine as a runner. And that, my friends, is A-OK.
Ok, so really quickly I also want to take an opportunity to publicly state how proud I am of my “father-in-law” of 3+ years. Recently, ESPN put out an article about Watson and his “less-than-stellar”? record as a DI head football coach. Specifically, how our game tomorrow vs. #10 Northern Iowa will likely give Watson his 200th loss as a head coach, effectively making him the “losing-est” head coach in NCAA history.
What I want to address now is my reaction to this story, and public state how I feel about this actually transpiring INTO a “story”.
To preface: Watson is one of THE most intelligent men I have ever had the good fortune to work for. He sees situations from EVERY possible point of view, and has the ability to read a scenario, and act on it, extremely quickly. Hence, his success as a quarterback at Vanderbilt.
So how does such an accomplished football mind rack up 200 losses? Well, to begin with — if you’re a head coach for 40 years this is about 5 losses per season. Watson has been coaching college football for 44 years, and has spent 30-something of those years as a head coach. For a typical team, 200 losses in 40 years gives you a record of 7-5, which is “respectable” for the most part in college football.
It’s MORE than respectable when you consider the typical programs that Watson has worked with. He has notoriously gravitated toward jobs and programs that require rebuilding. It’s safe to say that he spent the majority of his career at schools where he was not expected to win, but rather to just survive and build a program. He has coached at 11 different universities, acted as the head coach at six, including TTU and his alma mater, Vanderbilt, and the Athletic Director at two schools. The majority of those schools welcomed him with open arms and requests to re-build from shambles. Which he did.
For example, he took the program at UAB from a desolate excuse for a football team to a Bowl game, acting as both the head coach AND the AD in Birmingham.
Yet somehow, it’s the losses that have resonated with this story. NOT the upset win over Nick Saban and the LSU Tigers. NOT the times (yes, plural times) he turned down Bear Bryant and the Alabama football program. NOT the times he turned down opportunities to play EASY non-conference schedules in an effort to raise money for the University he worked for. No, just the losses.
Is a compliment. I know that because I know the industry of college football. In full disclosure, I know more about the “industry” than most people who will read this article. And most people who will read this article, who DON’T know the industry, will pass shameful judgments on a man who I deeply admire and respect. This is not okay with me.
So I ask of you — if you read this article, and watch this video, recognize that the crazy path that Watson took was one that he chose to take. It was one driven by early success as a young head coach. It was driven by the morals and values of a sincere human being. It was one driven by factors that you (and I) know nothing about. If you take my word on nothing else, take my word on this — if you have a negative thought about Watson Brown that stems from reading this article, you are a victim of a sad misfortune.
I am not writing this primarily to inform others, although I hope it does. I am writing it to document my own thoughts in my own little corner of the internet. Take it as you will. But I hope you’ll take it correctly.
20 miles on deck for tomorrow morning! Have a great night!