upon further review


Sometime Saturday evening after I had already lost interest in whatever was happening on the field at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, one of those things happened that let us know for certain that it is football season.

Texas had already surged ahead of New Mexico State, 35-7, early in the fourth quarter. I was in the middle of producing copy that needed to be filed as soon as the clock showed all zeroes at the end of the game. So additional touchdowns made very little difference to me.

That’s sometimes when interesting things happen.

In this case, Texas quarterback David Ash threw to wide receiver Mike Davis in the back-left corner of the end zone. In real time, it looked like an incomplete pass. The referee signaled incomplete pass. But if there’s one thing anyone who has watched a football game in the last 20 years knows, just because the referee calls it incomplete, that doesn’t mean it’s incomplete. American football has embraced technology like no other sport, so the words “the previous play is under review” is uttered more than, “2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits a dollar” in football stadiums these days.

In the slow-motion replay, Davis clearly had his hands around the ball and his left foot in bounds. A touchdown. It was a fairly meaningless score, but it has taken on more meaning to me as I look back at the weekend.

When I finished working Saturday night, I called my friend Becky, who had also been working for much of the day. I convinced her that we needed to grab a beer because we were in Austin and it was Saturday night and we needed to celebrate our being such hard-working citizens. She agreed because she needed to get out of her own head on some things.

The previous play was under further review.

Becky works diligently and with passion. She’s driven to have a successful business and she pays conscientious attention to it. As a result, she’s pretty hard on herself, setting the bar high for what success looks like. That’s good. That’s why she’ll excel at whatever she chooses to do.

But she wasn’t feeling the adrenaline of success. She was actually beating herself up a little bit.

Oh by the way, the fruits of her labor are damn impressive as well. She has a book coming out, published by Plume/Penguin in October. She designed the logo for this site, which I love. If you’re looking for excellent, original design work, she’s your girl.

So without going into any details about our conversation, I basically showed her the camera angle where she caught the pass and kept a foot in bounds.

Touchdown. No doubt.

But this happens from time to time, doesn’t it. A few months ago, my buddy Tye was down in the mouth about some vocal tracks for an album he was creating. It’s tough to hear your own voice and be happy with it. Actually, anytime you get too close to something, it’s hard to see it from all the good camera angles. Tye’s album is a fantastic first effort and it will help him get where he’s going. It’s been in my car CD player for months because I just like listening to it. Not because he and the other players on it are my friends.

I know when I’m at my worst, it’s because I’m stuck in my head and can’t see anything but the worst possible angle. So that’s how I know how Becky and Tye felt. If I can help them see the angle where they score touchdowns, then maybe I’m doing the thing that I was put here to do.

Photo via The New York Times.


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