Tuesday, June 27, 2006

winning in the final seconds

The World Cup this year is making a good point: a game includes every moment from starting whistle to final whistle. Every moment in between contains all the potential of every other moment. Spectators watch and think, "what can happen in 15 seconds?" Winners focus on scoring until the whistle blows.

I watched the Australians fight bravely against the Italians. Although my recent trip to Italy has me cheering for the Azzuri, I couldn't help but cheer for the Australians. Like almost everyone watching the game, I thought they had pushed the Italians into an overtime they could very well lose. And then, with only seconds left on the clock, the game ended. It ended because no one told the Italians forwards it was time to give up. The charge up the left wing was intent on goal.

The charge ended with a foul and the game ended with a penalty shot. Just before the shot, the camera went in close on the eyes of Franceso Totti, the man taking the shot. I had no doubt watching him that he had no doubt. The shot was just a formality.

The odds don't win games. People who seize every available moment win games.

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