Auburn plays Florida State tomorrow night. When the final whistle blows, one team will be crowned the National Champion and the other will wonder what it could have done to change the outcome of the game. Fans on both sides will start talking about which new recruits are headed to their school next season and count down the days until the first inter-squad scrimmage.
The beauty of college football, especially SEC college football, is that it's new every year. You never know which true freshman is going to stun the masses. Circumstances can turn a little known fifth-year senior into the talk of the town. The blue-chip recruit may suffer a season ending injury.
At the end of the day, no matter what the stats say or the percentages project, college football games are won or loss by real people in real time making real plays regardless of the circumstances. Whether the field is pristine or sloppy, the weather sunny or rainy, the starters healthy or injured, the game is won by the team that stays focused on getting the ball in the end zone.
It's a metaphor for success in life.
Success in life is found not in dwelling on one's circumstances, but focusing on a goal. Whether one is rich or poor, educated or uninformed, healthy or sick, keeping your eyes fixed on a goal that lies in the distance will compel you to keep moving forward -- even when the next step is harder than the last. And, sometimes when you make that next step, you put yourself in a position to catch a break that puts you in the end zone.
I am a proud citizen of the Georgia Bulldog Nation, but I am going to be rooting for Auburn tomorrow. Don't worry, I won't go so far as to say those words they say when someone makes a good play; but I can really identify with how the team has kept its eyes on the end zone and put itself in a position to catch a break when one was sorely needed. They weren't lucky; they were prepared and kept looking for opportunities. Many more of us should play the game that way.
Karl Douglass, Columbus native and resident, is a frequent commenter on local, state and federal politics. Follow him on Twitter@KarlDouglass or facebook.com/karldouglass.