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The Inspiration of The Playoffs

Jarrett Bailey, Sportswriter

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“Playoffs.” Though it is just one word, any athlete will tell you that it is so much more than that. When you hear the word “playoffs”, it adds a certain level of intensity. No matter how hard you try to keep a steady mind-set, it’s basically impossible. It’s not just another ordinary game or series, it’s where unforgettable moments occur, legacies are built, and champions are crowned. Nothing can compare to the preparation every athlete puts into his or her work to make it to the playoffs. When they finally reach their goal, they are faced with a new mountain that seems almost impossible to climb. After all of the preparation, the work, the blood, sweat, and tears that are put into a season, only one thing matters–victory.

Every year, there are usually a few moments that blow our minds and render us speechless. Moments like Michael Jordan draining a shot from the top of the key with no time left on the clock to beat the Cavaliers. Moments like Patrick Kane’s marvelous goal in overtime to beat the flyers and win the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks. Both of those scenarios included a do-or-die situation, and clutch players that were willing to sacrifice anything to give their team a win. Well, what is clutch? Clutch is Joe Montana leading an 80 yard drive, capped off with a touchdown pass to John Taylor to win the Super Bowl for the 49ers, or Brian Wilson keeping his cool on the mound in the final game of the World Series to help the Giants win it all. To be clutch, you have to have heart. For example, Kellen Winslow played through cramps and dehydration to help the Chargers beat the Dolphins in one of the most heart-filled performances in history.

The playoffs are the most important part of an athlete’s career. It’s how you’re judged when people look back on your team and accomplishments. It doesn’t matter what sport you play, that feeling of pressure is there when playoff time comes around. Whether  you’re in the pros, college, high school, or even if you’re just a nine- year-old kid in pee-wee sports, that feeling enters every athlete’s body. Everybody wants to be able to go from good to great and become a champion. That’s why we practice, why we play, why we work and leave blood, sweat, and tears on the field or on the court– it’s who we are. Through it all, when you finally reach that ultimate goal, it’s worth all the hardships you endured. Being able to stand alone and look back on all of your accomplishments is one of life’s best prizes.

 

 

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