Mike Walton (blackeagle)

Patriots? Eagles? Why not BOTH?
By: Posted On: 2020-12-28

Dec 6, 2015 - New England Patriots line up against the Philadelphia Eagles. Image provided by Stew Milne, USA TODAY Sports

When I was growing up, the prevailing opinion was "either you're a winner or you're a loser".  That was how the world was divided.  Winners get the opportunity to be on the Wheaties(TM) box.  My first "sports heroes" were all on that Big G cereal box.  Never mind that Wheaties tasted like the cardboard it was packaged in -- the fact that Hank Aaron, or Mary Lou Retton, or the Olympic Swim Team were photographed on the box -- THAT what was important.  They were WINNERS!

Eat your Wheaties and be a WINNER!

Losers, on the other hand, received nothing.  The losing teams in professional basketball, for instance, had welcoming home parties but it was muted compared to the big blowout celebration the winning team had.  That attitude moved over to programs like Scouting, unfortunately, where it still holds a stranglehold upon. 

Why can't we all be winners?  Some will say, "because you have to be terrible at something before you can be winners at something -- you appreciate it more when you do win."  You can't see the sour face I am displaying but that to me is not true at all.

A friend of mine said, "well, you have winners but if they are smart and are true competitors, they will approach the losing team and congratulate them on the effort".  That's not what I'm thinking about here -- one should always show positive sportsmanship and the end of professional or college games proves this.  I watched a Notre Dame college football game where the Irish all but humiliated a team on the field.  At the end of the game, the entire Notre Dame team -- coaches, water people, cheerleaders, straphangers, and the entire team -- gathered on the losing team's side of the field and sang the school song of the losing team. Then, everyone would move over to Notre Dame's side and sang the Notre Dame honor song. It was not "UH! In your FACE!" but a sincere effort to say "yeah, we beat you on the field but when it all comes down to it, we're no better than you -- we're all students, all working toward bettering ourselves."

In the military, Americans have proven time after time that we can be awesome competitors on the battlefield -- peace as well as wartime -- and still be human beings.  History books, radio and television documentaries, and today's social media are full of examples of whereby peoples who have disliked -- no, HATED -- each other could "grow up" and become men and women of common human needs. Of course, it took time, some inward reflection, and in some cases some faith intervention.  I recall one of the old REFORGERs -- Return of Forces to Germany (a large-scale exercise designed to prepare American and our allied forces for war with the old Soviet Union and their forces) I participated in.  At the end of the war exercises, NATO soldiers would find Americans, even those they were not "competing against", and embrace or shake their hands and ask their buddies to take a photo of them together. I have a couple of those photos somewhere in a box.  I have NO CLUE who those guys were, but there we are, happy for the time in life whereby we could simply say "Great job!" or "Thank you!"

Yes, there have to be winners and losers. So as the trophy is being presented to one or the other team, the acknowledgment needs to be made that we are ALL winners for witnessing a great event at the time in history to be able to do so. Today's and the only thing we've lost was time and maybe ten cents and a hug (or whatever it is with inflation today) between friends.  

Let's hope that the Big Game goes into two overtimes before one or the other team scores and we watch that team hold the trophy high to the delight of all American football fans everywhere.  

We recognize in Scouting, those who have achieved a certain level, given of themselves in thousands of different ways, and those who best captures the Scouting ideals and spirit over a length of time.  We should also recognize everyone else -- and those they represent -- who likewise "did their best" and deserve praise and thanks also.  If your recognition banquet, dinner, or ceremony does not include that, please do include such a gesture! 

"So, you MUST be an Eagles fan, you know, Eagle Scout and all, right?"

No, I'm also a Patriot...so that makes me a Patriots fan too...  So what would happen if they played to a "draw"?   Have a great time and enjoy the Game!



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