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Editorials and Opinions

Seif Says: Coming back

By Ben Seifer
Published: November 2008

68,500 fans roar, shaking the steel and concrete stands of Gillette Stadium, as the Patriots, with less than one minute remaining and no time outs, drive down the field. After coming back from a 24 to six deficit against the New York Jets, quarterback Matt Cassel snaps the ball in the closing seconds of the game. He scans the field, rolls left and shakes a tackle and¦. touchdown! He delivers a perfectly-placed bullet-pass to the reliable number 81, Randy Moss, sending the Patriots into overtime.

I sincerely hope that most of you watched this game. For those of you who were doing homework or some other trivial task, the Patriots lost a heartbreaker after the Jets’ kicker squeezed one passed the uprights.

No, I haven’t become a sports columnist.  That night Patriots fans suffered something that many of us at Newton South endure¦just not on prime-time television. Disappointment. It’s unavoidable; you can put all of your energy into something and just fall short. In high school disappointment is handed out with the frequency of hors d’oeuvres at a bar mitzvah; different kinds coming from a different server, at all angles.

Your midterm grades are dotted with Cs and, although you spend the next five weeks working to get your grades up, you don’t achieve your goal. A promising sports season ends abruptly. You find your car papered with obnoxious orange warning tickets. Someone you like turns you away.

Unfortunately, the list is endless. What’s the saying? “When you fall off the horse, get back on. When you’re sitting in the dirt looking up at a horse’s ass, this may not be the most comforting thought, but there is some truth to it.

Maybe you didn’t get the grades you wanted, but you proved that you are capable of working hard. When thinking of the sports season that came to a halt, remember the success you experienced not the loss. The parking warnings: find whoever gave them to you and park in their spot. As for that someone who turned you down, can’t help you with that one. Sorry.

The point is that you may not always be able to control what happens to you, but after getting knocked down, you always have the freedom to choose how and in what way you get back up. Most importantly, find something that motivates you to get back on the horse. Whether its self-fulfillment or anger, just get out of the dirt as fast as possible.

When Tom Brady went down in the first quarter of the game opener, Patriots fans sighed in defeat. Nobody believed that the Patriots could repeat last year’s success, let alone have a winning season. But 11 weeks later, I watched along with thousands of fans as Cassel executed a comeback characteristic of the demi-god Tom Brady. Even though the game ended in heartbreak, the Patriots showed that they could prevail and that there still is hope for the remainder of the season. If a high school quarterback, who didn’t take a snap through all of college and was drafted in the seventh round, can lead a severely injured Patriots team to a possible playoff berth, maybe there’s hope for us all.

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