Though I don’t pretend to be an NFL expert, like most Americans, I watch the superbowl every year. No matter which jersey you typically wear on Sundays (unless it says Brady across the back), I’m sure this year’s Eagles victory was particular striking to you, as it was their first ever superbowl win. However, what I found to be the most interesting part of their Cinderella story was quarterback Nick Foles.
For those unfamiliar, legendary and MVP-favored quarterback Carson Wentz went down in a game against the Rams and was unable to return to the field to finish out the season. Though many believed this to be the end of an amazing run for the Eagles, fans and bandwagoners alike were pleasantly surprised when QB Nick Foles rose to the occasion. He was no Wentz, but he became the first Eagles quarterback to ever win a superbowl ring.
This brings us to the discussion of something we face in sports, relationships, and every aspect of life: roles. Sometimes they are diligently earned, sometimes they are stumbled upon, and sometimes they are unwillingly given. Roles can be clearly seen on every sports team, where you have leaders, followers, rookies, veterans, and crazy natural athletes all alike. But most often, you are not the one who chooses your role for yourself, and these can be hard to accept. One of the most frustrating roles in sports is that of a non-starter. Playing time can be one of the biggest sources of contention amongst teams and very rarely is it the starting lineup who is upset. This can take any number of forms: namely negative attitude, ill-wishes on the team, and laziness. Now of course, I would never say you should be content on the bench if your dream is to take the field. However, it is important to channel your desire into productiveness in practice and not into animosity. It’s a sure bet that Nick Foles was never content with being backup quarterback, but had he not kept working just as hard even when he was unhappy with his role, he would have been ill-prepared for the chance he was given.
Accepting your role for the good of a team is a sign of humility and maturity, and it is a life skill that you can carry far beyond sports. Accepting your role does NOT mean giving up on your dreams, but it means being happy with where you are. Contentment is not always complacency.
Furthermore, in their different roles, both Wentz and Foles were instrumental in the victory. No one tries to undermine either by saying “Wentz didn’t play in the superbowl so he didn’t really win it,” or, “Nick Foles didn’t start for over ten games, so he barely had anything to do with making the playoffs.” Both roles were what the team needed to succeed.
Roles are not just an earthly thing, either. If you study the twelve disciples, you’ll quickly notice that Peter is mentioned more than any other disciple in the Bible and was told he would be the head of Christ’s church, while his older brother Andrew was just mentioned a dozen times. Now of course, who wouldn’t want to be tabbed as this leader by Jesus? But had the disciples, especially Peter’s older brother Andrew, let jealousy in, they may have never fulfilled their mission of spreading the gospel to the nations. It is crucial that we remember that when you are part of something bigger than yourself, you will make an impact no matter what your role is.
- Grace Williamson, '19