The Alabama/Auburn game is such a tradition in my home state that even people who pay no attention to football still use it as a reference to make that point, as in “I will not be watching the Iron Bowl. I will be solving the pesky world hunger problem this Saturday.” You may care deeply about the outcome, you may not care at all, but it’s impossible to be ignorant of the existence of the game.
Last week, I read an article about the wife of the Alabama coach, Nick Saban. (For those of you who don’t know, Saban has a reputation of not staying too long at any one place and has expressed his dissatisfaction with students who have left games early this season. This has made some fans anxious about his future plans.) While his wife was allaying those fears, she made a point about the complacency that can creep in when a team is just expected to win.
I think she’s right. I can just imagine the students at the beginning of the 4th quarter: “Well, we’re going to win any way, so let’s take a break from imbibing beverages here in the stand and let’s go back to our fraternity house where we can imbibe different beverages.”
Unluckily, or luckily, for Alabama, that complacency was smashed at the end of the game on Saturday. Perhaps they’ve not been knocked to the bottom of the mountain, but far enough down that the easy assumption of success has been shattered.
Having a lazy nature myself, I’ve always been a little in awe of the people who are always looking for new challenges, the people who, after reaching a summit, look and say, “My goodness, there’s a mountain over there as well. Let’s go climb it.” Or “Well, I’ve climbed a mountain. Let’s see if I can now swim to the bottom of the sea.” Or even, “Well, I’ve climbed a mountain. Let’s see if I can do it again, faster and better.”
Of course, we can’t all be the giant risk takers of the world, but we can all look at areas of our lives where complacency has set in. And we can shake things up a bit.