The Thrill Of Victory And The Agony Of The Feet

2015 NWW Sports Day

As this is a companion piece to my previous reflections about the Sports day of the Northwest Weekend [1], I figured I would include one of my obligatory bad puns as a title, and note that I appreciate the difficulty my feet put up with because I insist on spending so much time on my feet on a day like today, given the fact that I was created to be a rather sedentary person as opposed to someone on my feet a lot. That said, I would like to comment, at least before people think that this will be another lengthy commentary on my feet [2], that the title itself is a pun of “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat,” for those who are not cognizant of sports reportage. Anyway, the agony of defeat was pretty widespread today, as at the end of the day, after the games were done and one of my very young friends from a neighboring congregation [3] dragged me to look out the window to see the snow falling, I was a bit too close to some surly Seahawks fans who reacted a bit angrily to bad calls and bad breaks. There are some people who are only pleasant to be around when their team is winning, although it’s better to be good company even in bad times.

As is often the case, days like today are pretty long. Despite not getting very much sleep last night, I managed to get up at a reasonable hour, shower, and get ready, and head off for Colombia River High School so that I arrived at about 8:15, being one of the earliest people there aside from other members of my congregation who were setting up the courts and concessions. I settled into the table that was set up as I walked in and signed in various teens and young adults, set up reasonably good teams from a geographical perspective, and used a bracket technique to help sort out the teams into various tiers quickly. Within a couple of games it was clear who belonged to the three tiers we had among the six teen and adult teams present. The top team was clear after the first two games, and demonstrated their superiority throughout, largely because of the cohesion resulting from frequent play. The next three teams were made up of the other two adult teams and the teen team that plays together the most, and then the bottom two teams had mostly young players thrown together at the last minute who had not played each other often. After sorting out the six teams in terms of their rank, we mixed up people and played some more games, and I even got to play on a team made up of mostly people from my own congregation, mixed between teens and adults.

Besides the service of helping to sign in people and organize the games and help to ref the games, I find it a fascinating experience to see people demonstrate good or bad attitudes when it comes to games. Some people tend to be skilled, whether through native temperament or carefully cultivated practice or some combination of the two, at encouraging others when points or calls go an unfriendly way. On the other hand, some people seem to wilt under the weight of bitterness at the mistakes of others. When one is playing a game like volleyball where there is little time to think and plan and one simply has to act as best as one can given the speed of the action, there are going to be points that don’t go well. Hopefully, if one is skilled and communicates effectively with one’s teammates, those points are few and far between, but they will happen. Obviously, communication is a matter of continual personal concern, both in terms of examining my own communication and seeking to make it the best possible, and pondering the communication or lack thereof from others and what sort of meaning and significance it has. If we are wise, we will use games like volleyball to help improve our communication for life, so that the people we play with and spend so many hours around can recognize the need to communicate on a larger scale as fellow brethren.

Of course, while there are many people, especially among the youth, who go to an event like this and enjoy the games, and spending time with their friends, all of which is enjoyable, my thoughts fairly readily turn to the logistics. Whether it is setting up tables and chairs and nets and scorekeeping areas and stands for referees, or concession stands or tables to sit and eat and watch football on television, there are always a lot of logistical aspects to an event like this [4]. I suppose that being part of a relatively large congregation, at least for our present age, and one that frequently plans events, events that I end up being involved in bringing to a successful conclusion, means that one becomes intimately acquainte with endless questions of logistics. How does one determine the success of a particular event? How can one quantify enjoyment? How does one account for questions of attendance, or deal with various anecdotal comments from others? I feel an exit meeting coming on, but I suppose that is a matter to discuss another day.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

[3] See, for example:

[4] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church of God, Musings, Sports and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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