The kicking position in football makes it the strangest game and one of the most socially and psychologically instructive 

You have a sport where men train their bodies to turn into monster car trucks and smash each other, and it often comes down to a kick by a player who has waited on the sideline. It’s a fact that the kicking position is integral to the success or failure of a team. The game is all about field position, so good kickers give their teams a huge and obvious advantage. 

Still, many coaches and players openly disdain their kickers. I must mention a standout counter example: a kicker missed some field goals and the commentators on the post game panel all reinforced one another’s opinion, shared by the kicker’s coach, that kickers did not deserve respect and stood apart from the rest of the team. To my delight, Keshawn Johnson eloquently expressed the lone dissenting view by asking ‘what ever happened to we win as a team; we lose as a team?’ 

It’s a bizarre sport- but I think because of that strangeness it shows us the weak human tendency for a community to close down when times are tough and open up and embrace more people, particularly different kinds of people, when times are good. It also shows us to wise and strong way to respond to failure, like Rick Sutcliffe’s response to the Steve Bartman incident. 

That’s really the question: what do you do when you fail because someone, who you think has it easy, fails? 


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