With less than 60 seconds remaining on the game clock, Scripps Ranch High School had the game in the bag. The San Diego squad had the lead and the ball. All they had to do was snap the ball twice, taking a knee on each play, to continue their winning season. Everyone saw the writing on the wall, including their opponent, La Jolla High. From the game’s start, they knew they were in for a rough one. Two of their starters, including the quarterback were in street clothes, having suffered injuries in prior games.
Only La Jolla lineman Max Smith, a 5 foot 9, 153 pound sophomore felt there was more work to be done on that September evening. When the ball was snapped, he exploded off the line, catching the offense off guard and knocking the ball loose before the Scripps Ranch quarterback could drop to the ground. Smith recovered the fumble, setting up a last-chance play for his team.
Backup QB Diego Solis came in and immediately launched a pass toward the opposite 20 yard line. Amazingly, a receiver was there to make the catch. It was none other than Max Smith, again moving a full speed. This time, he found the end zone and the resulting touchdown snatched victory from the hands of defeat.
As we begin this last week of 2018, it’s easy to feel like time has run out. It’s Christmas Eve after all, a time for relaxing, reflecting, and possibly even looking forward. Few people will approach work this week with the same level of energy they did back in the first quarter when the year stretched out before us and expectations were high. Back then it felt like we had all the time in the world. Now, well the clock is running down and the game is over; practically speaking. All we have to do is take a knee or two and start over with a fresh game and a fresh clock.
But I challenge you to milk to every bit of this week that you can. While everyone else, including the competition, has decided to wrap things up – why not get a couple of really good plays in? Why not use the last few ticks of the clock to give your best effort? You might not win the game, you may still fall short of the goals that were set for this year. But why not give it one last shot?
You might need to throw up a Hail Mary pass; a wild and crazy idea that, if it pays off, will pay off big. Or you might just need to continue executing on the basics, finishing a steady march toward the goal line so that you end the year right where you need to be. Either way, don’t look back at this week and see a missed opportunity. Win or lose, start 2019 knowing you gave 2018 your very best, right to the end.