I promise, today’s announcement is going to have a massive impact upon me, upon my family and upon my ability to serve all of you. As you know, I’m a think bigger kind of guy. I’ve actually been entertaining texts and direct messages since yesterday “Hey, man, what’s going on? What’s going on?” So anyway, for those that have been trying to guess, you probably will not have guessed. I’m pretty confident of that. So as I prepared my thoughts today, typically I don’t write things out, but I felt this was important enough that I did. So I have to apologize if it looks like I’m reading, because I am a little bit. The specifics of today’s announcement may not directly or indirectly impact you. However, I would invite you to listen very carefully. Because I promise you that the themes and principles that I share today will absolutely affect you. And similarly have the potential to have a massive impact upon you upon your family and upon you your ability to serve other people as well.
So a little background before I make today’s announcement, as a kid growing up, I played football in middle school, high school, and actually a year of college. In high school was fortunate to play on some really good teams. In fact, the the head coach of the Cal Bears was our quarterback. He was an All-American quarterback in high school, and we were fortunate to win a couple of state championships. Football was a big part of my childhood. I loved playing.
I’ll say that at some point, however, when I decided to hang up the cleats, when I decided I wasn’t going to make money on football, I realized that I still had a passion for the game. I would get up each Saturday and watch College Gameday. For those that are college football fans, you know what I’m talking about. For those that are not bear with me. But College Gameday, replaced my fascination with playing and I began to become an amazing professional spectator.
I would get previews and predictions of that day’s games, I had no idea until I was actually preparing this announcement that that this show, College Gameday is 180 minutes. Think about that, 180 minutes of previews, not of games, but of previews–pretty phenomenal. So not to mention, as soon as that was over, then these games started. And there’s big game after big game after big game. And then in the evening, of course, you have to watch all of the highlights of all of the big games and big games and big games. Again, that’s quite a commitment. You college football fans what I’m talking about.
You know, of course, being married and having kids lessens that commitment, yet even with this added responsibility, we were off doing other things with my family family, I oftentimes felt myself longing to be back in front of the big game. And it’s that’s kind of sad to say, right? Because, again, I’ve got, you know, pretty good family and a pretty good life.
Well rewind to just this past week and I’m actually watching, and this is really what led up to this experience, is on Thursday night, my alma mater played the in state rival, and they got hammered. So I dedicated four hours to that. Now, keep in mind, we were preparing to go on a trip over Labor Day weekend and my wife’s asking me to help pack and I’m not being very helpful. In fact, I resent a little bit of her continual requests to go do this, go do that, when the big game is on, right, another big game.
That night, she went and I think she probably put the kids to bed herself, she actually went to the grocery store, she was working the next day, 13 hours as a nurse and she said, here’s the list of stuff I need you to pack in the car before you come. I didn’t pay very close attention. Needless to say, we got to our destination in Central Oregon and I had mispacked some things. Now she wasn’t thrilled about that.
Now move to Saturday night. This is this is Saturday night. We’re spending our last weekend of the summer in Central Oregon. And I I had designed Saturday’s activities so that we could be back in front of the game by 4:30pm, which is when the team that I grew up loving and watching and having season tickets to, the Oregon Ducks, were playing the Auburn Tigers. And so again, I’ve kind of planned our day around being back in front of that. No judgment, right if you did the same thing, but keep in mind that I’m mildly helpful with dinner, like pretending to kind of cut vegetables and stuff and my eyes are really on the game. As the game goes on, and any of you that watched the game realized that there were some pretty tense moments. It came down to the end. And with about 20 seconds left, my wife says, “Hey, I need some help.” The baby is melting down and I was like, hold on, there’s 20 seconds left. And she said, “It’s 20 football seconds. There’s time. I need your help.”
At one point, she actually didn’t see this, which is probably good, “I actually glared at her. I glared,” Are you kidding me? Needless to say, my beloved Ducks lost and I felt myself get a pit in my stomach. Not only sick about the fact that I dedicated another four hours, had neglected my wife and family during that time, but additionally, I had left with another loss.
Now some of you might be saying, “Well you should just choose better football teams, right?” Maybe BYU and Oregon aren’t the teams. I don’t think that’s the problem. Let me explain. So you think about that eight hours and $50, let’s call it for a YouTube TV subscription. And what was I left with? Being a poor dad being a poor husband and eight hours gone. Eight hours!
So this is the announcement. Now whether or not this directly applies to you. It will apply to you so stay with me. But I’ve consulted with my family and after years and years of dedicated commitment I’m announcing my retirement, announcing my retirement from being an avid football spectator. My fanhood is retiring. Many are going to say “You’re so young, you have so many years ahead of you, like Andrew Luck, how could you possibly retire? Your career as an avid football fan is so bright, there’s literally decades and decades still in you know. Others are going to say, you know, you’re quitting, you know, you’re giving up on us.”
I’ve consulted with my family and after much deliberation, it’s time. It’s time to give it up. So many of you may think this is a joke, right? A little bit funny, but pay close attention to what I’m going to say after this because keep in mind that this has nothing to do with with college football, like very little to do with college football and everything to do with you no longer being a spectator of someone else’s life. But you being an active, active fan in your own life.
Now you could take college football and you could insert in Netflix, you could insert in video games, you could insert in The Bachelor, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, right? Doesn’t matter what it is. But all of us spend too much time being a spectator of someone else’s life. As opposed to being a player in our own life.
No offense to Justin Herbert. Right. I’ve been a fan of his for the past three years excited for him to hopefully win the Heisman Trophy. But I think I’ve been more interested in Justin Herbert, the star quarterback of the Oregon Ducks winning, then having this Justin win, right?
When opportunity abounds around me. That’s a problem. When I’m saying that I’m not necessarily where I want to be physically, professionally, financially, maybe some of you can relate to this, right? There are things in our life where the only thing keeping me from being that is that I don’t have enough time. Think about that, you don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough time to be where I want to be in all these other areas, yet I dedicate how many hours to observing and being a spectator of someone else’s life?! Hopefully this is resonating with you. Because I had a big aha here.
Just yesterday, I walk in the door, coming home from work, and habitually, I reach for the remote control wondering what game is on and then I realized, “Wait a minute, I just made a commitment that I’m retiring, right? And so I then asked my family, I said, “Hey, anybody want to go on a bike ride?” Now everybody was game for a bike ride with dad. They were so excited and keep in mind that this is the first bike ride we’ve gone on all summer. That’s… there’s a problem there. Right?
In fact, I told my family I said, “Hey, I just posted on Facebook that I’m making a big announcement tomorrow morning.” My son’s like, “Dad, what are you gonna announce?” And I said that I’m retiring from being an avid football spectator. And he said, Dad, but I love watching football with you. And I said, “Corbin, you didn’t use to.” I said, “Is it that you love me? and spending time with me or do you actually love football?” He said, “Well, I love football.” And I said, “Would you prefer if you and I went outside and played catch instead?” His eyes got big and he said, “Yeah, that’d be way better.”
The reality is when I’m spending time with my family watching football, or whatever it is right insert in your habit of choice, am I really giving the people that I love the very most? I’m not. They’re not getting my full attention. I’m distracted and saying to them, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” “Dad, are you listening?” Yes, just give me a minute.” Maybe this is just me, but maybe you can relate.
So last night after our bike ride I laid down beside my son. Now previously this might have been a time where I hurry and get the kids to bed and go check my Twitter feed to see what’s happening with my favorite football teams. Instead, I laid down beside and we talked for 20 minutes about his first day of school yesterday… 20 minutes. He was laughing. I was laughing. We had a great time. That 20 minutes was absolutely golden. I got more joy and satisfaction out of that than hearing what the Ducks could have done better, what they should have done better and what they will do better this next week. It’s such a different experience. You know, one of my greatest life’s mentors who was actually a world renowned heart surgeon who actually helped bring about open heart surgery earlier in his career–amazing man. In fact, he’s going to celebrate his 95th birthday, this coming Friday. Anyway, an amazing man who continues to like lap the globe doing service–Just an amazing human being. He said these words and it wasn’t till after I made this commitment that I was reminded of this, but he said “Another way we can also do better and be better is how we honor the women in our lives. Beginning with our wives and daughters our mothers and sisters. Months ago I received a heartbreaking letter from a dear sister, she wrote: my daughters and I feel we’re in fierce competition for our husband’s and sons’ undivided attention with 24/7 sports updates, video games, stock market updates, and endless analyzing and watching of games of every conceivable sport. It feels like we’re losing our front row seats with our husbands and sons because of their permanent front row seats with sports and games.”
Interesting, isn’t it? Now, does this mean that I’m never going to watch a game again, like it’s completely dead to me? No. Does it mean I’m never going to go to a live game? No. In fact, that might be the one way that I go about doing it, which is to take my son to an actual game. Or does it mean I’m going to judge any of you as you’re posting all about college football? No, this has nothing to do with college football. This has nothing to do with you. This has everything to do with me and all of us evaluating what we really want in life. I’ve gone through and pretty diligently laid out my long term goals, what I want spiritually, what I want for my family, what I want financially, what I want professionally, what I want physically and none of those things are really accentuated or do I get there any faster through Autzen Stadium through the Lavell Edwards Stadium. Right? Those are diversions and distractions. Now, again, I’m not saying I’m not going to go to a game, but when I sit all day, watching college footballand I’m short with my family because I can’t wait to get back to it, that’s a problem. Maybe some of you can relate.
Here’s the takeaway for anyone listening to this: I want you to take a look at the way you are spending your time and I want you to take special note of all the areas in which you are a spectator in something that you’re not actually doing. You’re watching somebody else do it. I want you to evaluate the ROI of that time. Are you getting the return that you want? Is that time that you’re spending watching somebody else perform and do their life, is that helping you get the life that you want? Chances are you’re like me, and in every important area of life, there’s area for improvement, and there’s things that you want to do and you want to improve, right? And the big excuse that we all have is “If I just had another day in the week… If I just had 25 hours a day… If I just had… if I just… If I just… If I just. The reality is, time is the great equalizer. All of us have the same amount of time. It’s what we do with that time.
So if we’re looking to improve any area of our life, if we’re looking to have more joy, have deeper relationships, impact people, our own life and the world, in a bigger and better way, guess what, we must stop being spectators and we must start being players.
My final request of everybody is Go Think Bigger. Thank you for being in support of my retirement. I’m excited to be not just watching others throw the pigskin but throwing it myself. Have a great day everybody. Thanks again for tuning in and we will talk soon.