A fellow tennis player said the other day that he assumed I’d not been very busy lately, though I assured him I had been inasmuch as the high school teams had been pretty much in full swing since the end of February.
They say that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, though when one’s work is fun Jack’s a happy boy. Mary always says, whether I’m out the door to play in a doubles game or am setting out to see a high school game, “Have fun.”
It is less fun to lose, whether it happens to me or to the teams I root for, but, in the end, it is fun — fun to be alive and kicking, to be in the flow, to be in the game.
Some of our boys soccer players probably thought the end had come when they lost 1-0 to Harborfields in the recent county championship game. We had the better chances — one play had made the difference.
But there was no denying that it had been a wonderful game, a wonderfully hard-played game. All had given their all all had risen to the occasion. It had indeed been fun to play with such zest, to interact so well as a team, to focus so keenly on the task at hand, and, from the sidelines, it had been enlivening to see such evenly-matched teams go at it.
Their coach, Don McGovern, shared their sorrow, especially when thinking of his seniors, but he knew, as did they, that they had “left it all on the field.”
“We wallowed in our sorrow on the way back on the bus,” he told me later, “but in the end we understood that we should hold our heads high. . . . They’re a wonderful group of young men.”
If some of them don’t know it now, they will in time know that what you really want is what they attained that day — a good game.