This past year has been a crazy one. From Brexit to the presidential election, I don’t think anyone could have predicted all of the shocking things that have been happening all over the world. The craziness that I would like to address today happens to take place in the world of sports. If you are not into sports stay with me because I think there are some things that we can all take away from a theme that has been reoccurring this past year in the sports realm: Never. Give. Up.
North Carolina vs. Villanova – NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
It has almost been one year since the epic 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which started a whole year full of exciting championship games/series. For those of you who didn’t watch, it was one of the greatest finishes in college basketball history. The North Carolina Tar Heels were facing off against the Villanova Wildcats in a back and forth physical battle. In the final seconds of the game, North Carolina’s Marcus Paige hit a clutch three-pointer to tie it up, leaving 4.7 seconds left on the clock. How did Villanova respond? They remained calm and stuck to their game plan. They didn’t give up. With only 4.7 seconds on the clock, the Wildcats ran a play that they ran every day in practice. Junior Kris Jenkins hit a three-point shot at the buzzer making the Wildcats the national champions. This was only the beginning of crazy endings of championship games.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors – NBA Finals
The next championship (to my knowledge) was the NBA Finals. The anticipation and excitement for this series had reached ultimate hype because of the amazing season that the Golden State Warriors had put together. The Warriors had the best regular season record in the NBA ever, passing the Chicago Bulls ’95-’96 record season with a record of 73-9. During the finals, the Warriors grabbed an early 3-1 lead. Until last year, no team in the NBA had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the final series. LeBron James and the Cavaliers put on a show and brought home Cleveland’s first championship in 52 years! Now, there are several things we can take away from this series as well. Whether you like LeBron James, he is someone from whom we could all learn a lesson. He gave everything he had to accomplish his goal and he never gave up.
Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians – MLB World Series
My colleague Kayla Hansen already covered this amazing series, which you can find here, but it was too good not to bring it up again. The Cubs were “cursed”. They had not won a world championship in 108 years! They finished what they had started and did not give up. No matter what anyone else said about their team and about their “curse” they persevered and they won.
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons – Super Bowl LI
This most recent Super Bowl was a David vs. Goliath matchup. The New England Patriots had competed in the Super Bowl eight times prior to this game. How many had the Atlanta Falcons appeared in? One. The Falcons were the underdog going into this game, but you would not have guessed after watching them play. The Falcons came out and dominated the entire game. No team in the history of the Super Bowl had ever come back from such a large deficit, and the Patriots did not lead at any point of regulation. They ended up making a comeback and sent the game into the first overtime in Super Bowl history. The Patriots won, despite being down the entire game. They faced impossible odds, fought hard, and did not give up.
There are many lessons that we can learn from watching sports. We often view athletes as big celebrities that we cannot relate to, when in reality, we face the same challenges they do on a daily basis. Watching the championship games from this past year in sports has given me hope. When our end goal seems impossible and too far out of reach, we cannot give up. When it feels like you are down 3-1 in the series, look to some of our recent champions for inspiration.
Morgan has been with Aureus Group since September 2016 and currently serves as a staffing assistant for the Systems team. Morgan helps her team with behind the scenes work such as reviewing resumes, checking references, and creating content for social media pages. Morgan has a bachelor’s degree in organizational and strategic communication from Southwest Baptist University. While attending SBU, she competed on the Women’s basketball team for four years. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time her fiancé, Grant, or hanging out with her family. She also enjoys crafting, watching sports, and going to visit her friends in Missouri.