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The Oakmonitor

The Seeds of Greatness

Boston Globe Will McDonough Contest  – Honorable Mention
The+Seeds+of+Greatness
Isabella Rios

The Seeds of Greatness 

Boston Globe Will McDonough Contest  – Honorable Mention

Gage Ahearn 

It was first and five. A new quarterback had stepped onto the field and was ready to take an under-center snap. He gets the snap, drops back, and flings it back up to the line of scrimmage, where his running back is. The football bounces off his receiver’s helmet and lands on the turf, second and five.

Was this play not the greatest moment in sports history? Admittedly, it is the type of play that occurs all the time. Trying to find a game without an incompletion is impossible in football as we know it, so how could anyone dare call it the greatest moment in sports?

When you think of greatness, chances are that you imagine a moment that left you in awe, gawking at where you stood. You may think of Julian Edelman’s ridiculous Super Bowl catch, or Rob Gronkowski’s deep reception to set up a game-winning touchdown a few Super Bowls later. You certainly don’t think of a random regular season incompletion in which the quarterback’s team would ultimately be blown out by a score of 34-9 by the Detroit Lions – not a play in a season in which the Patriots finished last in their division and were nowhere near a playoff berth.

Sports – and I don’t just mean Football – are less like a series of events, or a collection of games and seasons, but rather a single journey, and every journey starts somewhere. The threads that emotionally link millions of people to their favorite teams are far too strong to be cut by the end of a competition. With every gameday, every article published, every controversy sparked, the story of the sport grows thicker, and we’re drawn to it like moths to a flame. People such as myself do not suit up or get stretched out for games, but even I am a part of this magnificent story, as I make myself a bowl of cereal and sit in my Patriots pajamas before the television every Sunday afternoon.

I’ll concede; I also do love to relive those great moments, watching in horrible suspense, only to shoot off my couch like a snow-covered miracle off of Adam Vinateri’s foot. But what would such a moment or championship miracle mean if it weren’t built upon a series of plays of seemingly lesser importance? What if there was no journey or shaky start to grow from? If we had no taste of regret or defeat, it would be impossible to truly know how wonderful it feels to triumph.

Everyone knows that our mistakes make us stronger. If a quarterback comes onto the field and throws a bad pass, it does not make him a lesser quarterback. In fact, upon making a poor play, he may very well be driven to do better. This is especially true in the case of our aforementioned quarterback, who made an anything-but-notable first pass attempt. Judging by a single moment, it is impossible to determine the legacy that a player may leave behind. I can guarantee that he remembered this dropped pass and countless others even as he went on to win seven Super Bowl titles.

The same things could be said about the head coach, who was a new addition to the team that very same year. This coach had lost the first game, and would only win five that season. That surely left a foul taste in his mouth, and over the next two decades, he made sure to wash it out. Bill Belichick knew that true greatness comes from a system of smaller parts that each fulfill their function. It is not just skill players who create amazing sports moments, rather it is every player fulfilling their purpose. Sure, it may be more fun to watch the backfield on trick plays, but just as much thought goes into the less flashy big guys on the line. Similar to an incompletion, a pass block might not be the most entertaining thing to watch, but it is absolutely an integral part of pulling off a great play.

In my life as a Boston Sports fan, I have felt truly blessed to watch these seeds grow.

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About the Contributor
Isabella Rios
Isabella Rios, Reporter
Bella Rios is a part of the class of 2024 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her first year being a part of The Oakmonitor. She participates in Oakmont´s cheer team and is also part of the club, The Forum. Bella works at the Westminster Cafe as a waitress, and works at Camp Clark in Winchendon during the summer time. In her free time, Bella likes to spend time with family, take naps, and hang out with friends. She also enjoys spending time outside, especially in the summertime. Bella loves dunkin´s, watching movies, and her cats. She is eager to learn more about Journalism and contribute to the Oakmonitor.  

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