No doubt Julius Peppers and the Bears won the game and definitely influenced all of the holding calls against the Packers, so they deserved the win. If I'm a Bears' fan I'm pumped and rightfully so. But, I'm not a Bears fan and last night was very frustrating.
The frustration carried over until today, because as expected my colleagues and students were less than supportive. But I took it like a man and admitted that the Bears were the better team, which was very difficult to do.
Then I came across this video and my spirits were immediately lifted:
It's a video of Snohomish High School junior, Ike Ditzenberger rushing for a 51 yard touchdown. I'm sure that hundreds of high school football players had long runs for touchdowns last Friday night. However what's unique about this situation is that Ike has Down Syndrome and this was his first touchdown as a varsity player.
Ike received a lot of great blocks and made some amazing moves, but the difference maker was definitely his opponents - Lake Stevens High School. I think this is the part I liked the best. When I read that Lake Stevens' coaching staff instructed their players to let Ike score, but to make it seem real... I was truly in awe.
Some people will argue that whenever you strap on the helmets and pads it's "Go Time" and you should always try your best. If you're one of those people, I agree with you if we're talking about professional players who are getting paid to play and show off your talent.
However, high school football isn't about getting paid. And it's not only about winning championships. It's about a bunch of other things, like: having fun, building character, developing friendships, following rules, learning to work with others, and practicing good sportsmanship.
Ike Ditzenberger, his teammates, and the Vikings of Lake Stevens High school demonstrated all of this on one play.
Congratulations goes out to Ike for his amazing 51 yard touchdown score. I'm sure you, your family, and your friends will remember this play for the rest of your life.
And a huge thank you goes out to everyone else who was involved in that play for showing the world that football isn't only about winning... it's also about having fun and putting smiles on people's faces... which is what you did to this grumpy old Packer fan.