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The Essence of Life

By Jack Bottinger, retired football coach and teacher of 38 years

It was the change of class one winter day in 1996, and a group of school administrators were gathered in the hall having a chat. I was on my way to the copying room and heard Dennis Foreman, the principal, remark as I passed, “Let’s ask Jack.” I paused and asked the group what was on their mind.

Dennis went on to say that they were discussing the essence of life and were debating what it might be. I said that the question wasn’t too difficult, and I felt secure that I had the correct answer. “The essence of life,” I announced, “is Moving the Sticks!”

Their jaws dropped in amazement. Silence followed, and deep thinking seemed to be going on. Finally, Dennis commented that it was right on. He asked where I had heard the response, and I replied, “Any football coach would tell you the same thing. You see, all is lost when you fail to move the sticks. However, the game continues if the team can move the sticks and produce first downs. It’s the same in life. Keep the sticks moving forward in a positive manner in every area of your life, and you continue to remain in the game.”

There’s always hope as the game (or life) continues. Football is life solutions played out every time the ball is teed up for a kickoff. Time will never run out if you continue to move the sticks!



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