Often when I'm looking for the definition of a word or of an expression, the dictionary is the logical destination to find the answer. But not always. Let's take a definition for the word "momentum," for example. A splendid instance of an exception could have been this past Sunday evening during Super Bowl LI, in the case of my search for an adequate meaning of the term momentum.
By way of explanation, I'm referring here to a particular scenario rather than a group of words provided by Noah Webster. And oh man, what a scenario! Whoever would've ever thought it: Down 21 to 3 at halftime, those un-freaking-believable New England Patriots would score 25 unanswered points to come from behind the pace-setting Atlanta Falcons. The Pats were able to cap their fifth Super Bowl victory by topping the Falcons, 34-28.
I suppose I could have elected to turn to the record book in order to gain a statistical advantage when attempting to sort out all the probabilities against such a colossal turnaround. However, I thought it would be much more interesting to study the weird happenings that were about to unfold in the game from a purely psychological perspective.
Besides thinking I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of the Patriots' dressing room during the half so I could have heard some of the colorful language of Pats' head coach Bill Belichick, who could really guess the thoughts that were dancing around in the heads of quarterback Tom Brady and so many other members of New England's squad. In last Friday's Bob'n'Along column, you may recall my volunteering that I'd be cheering for the Falcons to triumph over the Patriots.
My main reaction to what happened on the gridiron of NRG Stadium in Houston wasn't so much disappointment as it was total shock. I must admit, here and now, that I missed more of the Super Bowl than I saw. Yet I frequently tuned back and forth to Fox TV for updates to the game. You can just imagine my surprise through most of the first three quarters of the game, with a score of 28-3 well into the third quarter. Then things began to change. And I mean rapidly change.
If you were a player for--or a fan of--the team with the three points at the half, you might easily have believed your side was on the brink of football disaster. However, the team with three points at halftime in this instance was none other than the New England Patriots, and that's what made the difference.
In beginning the turnaround, the Brady bunch had a whale of a lot of confidence on their side. They were able to score their first touchdown of the game. It came a little bit later than most of the games they play, but it was early enough. Another TD for the Pats was soon to follow, and still another, with a couple of two-point-after-touchdown conversions. Then the tying score, taking the game into overtime, and finally the winning score, another TD. Patriots win! Patriots win!
All I can say is that it must've been the good old-fashioned confidence of the New England Patriots to which you can attribute such a comeback victory, and that's where this definition of momentum creeps into the equation, because confidence begets confidence.
Conversely, what could the bewildered Falcons have been thinking during all of this? Could there have been a touch of self-doubt for them as it grew later and later in the second half? Perhaps from somewhere the Patriots may have stolen a glimpse at author Rhonda Byrne's "The Secret," where she relates to her readers the law of attraction, in which she describes how positive thoughts attract "like thoughts."
The Patriots' momentum had to point to something like the law of attraction, because I know of one thing that was not the reason for their success, and that was luck.
So the next time you're looking for the definition of a principle such as momentum, simply dial up February 5, 2017--or Super Bowl LI.
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This second item I'm offering in Bob'n'Along today also deals with the concept of winning or losing, except that here I'm not talking about a sporting event. But I am referring to good sportsmanship.
Quite a large number of people in these United States have gotten themselves extremely stirred up since November 8, 2016--Election Day in America.
It seems that I've been fooling myself for quite some time, believing that Americans are somehow above
all this "sour grapes behavior." The long stream of protesting and hating and destructive manner has tended to stem from the results of the recent election. Yes, Hillary Clinton received a higher popular vote count than did our new President, Donald Trump, but the cold, hard fact is that his Electoral College delegate vote count was greater than Hillary's. It was written into our laws many, many years ago, and yes, an electoral vote victory will "trump" a popular vote victory every time.
How refreshing, though, it is to see that here in Clarksburg we aren't besieged by such a bitter environment as what they're dealing with in some of the bigger cities in the United States. We have elections in Clarksburg and Harrison County and West Virginia. And we have winners and losers in those elections. Certainly there's disappointment attached to losing an election, whether you're the candidate or a supporter of the candidate.
But nationally speaking, we here in America are right on the verge of anarchy. The United States and President Trump have enough worries of their own, rooted in terroristic threats and the nuclear menace that loom over us 24/7, without having to be concerned with sore losers showing their hindsides. Have you wondered, lately, what God Almighty must be thinking of us? Maybe it's time for a bit of attitude adjustment.
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This week's Bible Verse: "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. God's ways are as mysterious as the pathway of the wind, and as the manner in which a human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in its mother's womb. Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow-- perhaps it all will.--Ecclesiastes 11:4-6