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So is another superbowl coming up, fans are excited, everybody is expecting to see an amazing show. However, weeks ago that wasn't the story, in fact New York fans lost hope of any playoff. To make matters worse both teams the Jets and the Giants who were looking for a spot in the playoff had to face each other obviously destroying the other team's chances of playoff. The NY Giants were struggling most of the season, sometimes they would win games, they would stump the opponent or get stumped. Well the Giants won that game. In their division they had the Philadelphia Eagles who were playing a very hot football in the past few weeks (four wins in a row). The last thing the Giants wanted was face the Eagles on a extended season game. They had to win the next game against the Dallas Cowboys which they did eliminating any hopes for the Eagles.
They were counted out, in fact the coach's job was in jeopardy. Yet they are in the playoffs. On January 22 the no so favorite to win Giants (9-8) faced the San Francisco 49ers (13-4) surprisingly the game was a battle, going to a ridiculously low score 17-17 after the fourth quarter. Giants won on overtime 20-17. It was a shocker, the team everybody counted out took out one of the hottest team in the National Conference. Some fans probably don't believe this happened. But happened.
Ironically San Francisco also have a great sport story to talk about. To add more to the irony that team used to be called New York Giants too. Yes I talk about 2010 World Series Champions San Francisco Giants. When you have two teams like the Philadephia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves playing in the same division where clearly one of the two will have to take the division and the other fight a wild card spot, winning 90 games that season would not be enough to go to the playoff. The Giants found themselves in a fierce battle with Adrian Gonzales and the San Diego Padres for that playoff spot until the final game of the season. Ironically they faced each other. The Giants needed just one win to clinch the playoffs. However they lost their first two games against San Diego, they got it right on the third game and that was game number 162 of the season. They were the last team to classify for a playoff spot. They barely made it but they fought to the end. On the other side the Yankees would not face the Red Sox (89-73) they have a new nemesis TB Devil Rays who won 96 games Yanks took the wild card with 95. Minesota Twins (95 wins), Texas Rangers (90 wins), Yankees and the Rays would represent the American league that season. Yankees took care of the Twins, the Rangers took down the Devil Rays and the Rangers well they disrespected the Yankees in their own stadium to the point that nearly 90% of the "fans" left the stadium. Philadelphia Phillies the hottest team in the National league to the day (2012) was also the winningest team in the major leagues baseball they took home 97 wins, Atlanta Braves 91, Cincinati Reds 91 and Giants 92. This is how it went down. Philadelphia swept the Reds out of the playoff, Giants took care of the Braves to face the Phillies on a 7 games series they took the National leagues championship on 6 games. Texas who defeated the Yankees with "this is to hurt you deep" scores was the favorite to take the championship. The Giants didn't have that many big name players Tim Lincecum and closer Brian Wilson were perhaps the biggest name on that team at the time. Rangers had Nelson Cruz, Cliff Lee, rookie closer Neftali Feliz, Josh Hamilton, Mike Young, Ian Kinsler, Vlad Guerrero. This team was danger from the distance. For some unknown reasons they just couldn't stop the Giants, they got back all the insults they gave to the Yankees with one game in particular ending 9-0 Giants. They barely made it to the playoff, yet they won the championship. Another story is that of Edgar Renterias a pretty good short stop for many years. The 34 years old had lost much of the skills that made him a good to watch player. He was limited to 72 of 162 games. Ending with AVG 276 3HR 22RBI 332OBP. However in the World Series he hit 412 in 5 games 2HR 6RBI including two game winning hits including a 3 run homeruns the only runs of the team making him just the 4th player to have two series winning hits in the history of MLB. The others are Yogi Berra, Lou Gehrig and Joe Dimaggio.
Boston Red Sox have their own story too in fact this one go down to history books, they did something that is hard to repeat. 2004 the wild card Red Sox faced the Yankees for the American League championship. Boston who lost the previous year, same series, same team lost game one (10-7), game 2 (3-1) game 3 (19-8). Everything was set for the Yankees to take the series. In fact on game four with one run lead they brought in their closer Mariano Rivera who allowed a tie, then a relief pitcher in allowed a walk off homerun in extra innings (12 innings) to David Ortiz. This followed a marathon (14 innings) game 5, then they struck hard on game 6. They were the only 0-3 team to reach game 6 but became the only team out of 26 to force a game 7. They went on to kill the Yankees on their own house with score 10-5. They scored 2 in the first, 4 in the second. They went on to sweep Albert Pujols' St Louis Cardinals also becoming the first team to have a 8 wins streak in the same postseason. They won their first World Series since 1918
ENOUGH NUMBERS. I used sports because is something that you can read, something you can see a difference was made. I was having this conversation with Jenn the other night, yes we have some strange conversations. We were talking randomly and ended up talkign about how some people are invincible when things are going well. I pointed out that some people who get to that "invincible status" are not usually the ones who achieve it. For example in sports I have noticed that in most cases the ones who play harder are not exactly the stars. Some stars do play hard all game long don't get me wrong. But a big majority of them get too much credit for just putting a game out of reach. Sure the boss makes a lot of money. But who is the one who have to sort his/her mail? write his her reports, call clients, etc. They pay other people to do that work for them, to facilitate the work to him/her. But then we have to look at how much they had to do to get to that position. No position is just earned. You have to go through a lot of work and drama in order to reach it. How you reach it? by refusing to fall.
The Boston Red Sox of 2004 saw themselves about to be sent home every night after game 3 of the American League championship, in fact they were down on the 8th inning of game 4. But they never let down. This my friend this is what make the difference between being an embarrasing loss or a glorious win. I believe I made a reference about this in an early entry I think had to do with giving up. But there was a quote there talking about how some people are faced with adversity and let themselve go on a free fall. Others are faced with adversity and act like a bouncing ball. They get up fast and stronger than ever. Look at the Boston Red Sox of 2004. Everything was going terrible for them, but they didn't want to see the Yankees celebrating on their stadium. Mariano Rivera is a great closer, one of my favorite players for his demeanor and how serious he works. They stood up to him and made him blow a save. That was the last time the Yankees held the lead the entire season. They got fired up and just swept through the next team. Any team reaching post-season is a good team, specially that one reaching the world series. Yet they made it look easy because when you work hard, things are going your way, the day looks like a walk in the park. "Victor I work hard and I'm tired I don't see results? are you working hard or hardly working? let me tell you, complaining will not help your cause but drain energy away not letting you see what you are achieving. Keep on the hard work, nobody assured that results will be instantly and if someone assure instant results, there has to be something wrong.
It's tough to be against the wall, but you have to understand that this is when you have to show what you are made of, this is when you have to make things happen, this is when you have to prove yourself. If you can succeed in adversity, you surely will succeed everyday after when things are good. I know of a man by the name Jim Myers who can't feel any comfortable if he's not in an uncomfortable situation. I saw him speak one day, he has a very successful business netting him 2.3+ millions a year. Business runs itself he has couple of people making a million and a few more getting close to a million. Yet when I last saw him speaking he was thinking of restarting the business, forget this one, that monster has a life of it own, how about starting all over again and see if he can do the same. Crazy? yeah maybe, but if he succeeds he would be crazy rich well double of what he is.
I am one who thinks that when things are going too smooth, there have to be something wrong somewhere. I know that life will always give me a slap in the face, there's always going to be some difficulty somewhere. You have to be prepared for the difficulties because they are going to be there. If you are expecting everything to be easy, you chose the wrong program (life).
Even when everything seems to be a lost cause you still have to give it your all. Let's take a look at sports for example. How many baseball games have been won in a comeback on the last inning, walk-off hits? How many basketball games have been won on a final shot? I bet you can't count them, is far too many. Because the game is not over until one side give away just make sure you are not the side giving away. You can't expect to win if you are thinking of defeat. If you think you are not going to win, that's the first step to losing, you have programmed yourself to lose.
I will be back pretty soon