Dogs and Teams

“Plays well with friends”. “A good sport”. “A good loser”. “Really cares about people”. “A good heart”. “Fun to be with”.

Surely there are those in the world that could care less if anyone ever truly thought any of those things about them. But how about you?

I don’t have a dog but my youngest daughter’s family does. I visit them often and get to hang out with Winnie. She really, truly seems to love me. I want God to “help me be the person my dog thinks I am”!

Then again, even on a sports team, say, a pro-football (soccer) or other team, there is something about caring, real friendship and being a committed team player that can endear you to the fans, the club and likely your employers.

The other afternoon I got to visit my girl and Winnie. Sweetness and light. Nice chat with my daughter and “Winnie therapy” for Grampy.Winnie

That evening I watched the final pre-season match of my fave football (soccer) club, Chicago Fire.

The last several seasons have been dismal to say the least. Near bottom of the league, losing games in the final minutes, just horrid.

Ok, it’s only pre-season, but they went undefeated the entire stretch of games. They beat the reigning league champion in their own stadium. Two-nil.

I am a serious soccer fan- especially Chicago Fire and USMNT and USWNT (United States Men’s and Women’s National Teams).

From a fresh goalkeeper making amazing save after amazing save and keeping “a clean sheet” on the night (no goals against); a defense that truly stonewalled a very good team all match long even though Portland likely put down a record for corner kicks in a game; a solid midfield that hustled and tough, quick, creative forwards who found the net twice in the first half and might have found it once or twice more… this squad- including bench- has promise.

New head coach and staff. New players. There were tense moments, Portland Timbers are a good side. There were slop moments, bad passes, missed chances, mistakes which of course are made by most players in most games regardless the sport.

Same for musicians in a band, people in any workplace, peeps who meet in a church congregation, etc., etc.. No surprise in this.

But what I saw in these latest matches was a team. A team who worked from whistle to whistle in commitment to a system, who supported one another, a new level of cohesion Chicago Fire has lacked the past several seasons.

There are plenty of reasons for the pre-season success. There will be losses this year. When you love a spouse, parents, brothers and/or sisters or yes, even a sports team there will be heartbreaks, not endless victories.

Yet this I know: when you show up, really Show Up and support one another, work together, share a passion based on love and are willing to work day in and day out as a team player, you will never lack a sense of purpose, meaning and will always have good work to do.

You may mature to the extent you are as grateful for team success regardless of being on the field or supporting “from the bench”.

Because that’s what a team player is: it’s about “us”. Together.

Ask yourself what I ask myself from time to time: what sort of player are you?

And -how close are you (and I!) to being “the kind of person my dog thinks I am”?


As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂 -Glenn


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