The price thatâ€™s paid, the decisions made, determine who fades.
The â€™fourth seasonâ€™ decides championships. Three seasons are never enough. The fourth season is the difference between first place and dead last.
I define football season differently than the way conventional wisdom does. Conventional thinking defines football season with 3 seasons â€“ pre-season, regular-season, post-season.
Three seasons are not enough to win championships at any level of football. Four seasons are needed. The 4th season is called the â€˜off-season.â€™ The off-season is the difference between winners and losers. The Oakville Longhorns have 4 seasons. Football season is 365-24-7 business. Football is the business of survival. All survival is a matter of personal choices. What is done in the off-season cannot be undone. What is not done in the off-season can never be done.
The fourth season is directed by each playerâ€™s conscious. Football is a high-risk sport that cuts up the weak, breaking them to pieces. When you choose to play for the Oakville Longhorns, you choose to be part of a team, not apart from the team. And you chose to be a first-responder. You have to be the first to back-up.
When I was a police officer between 1975-1990, there were three words that started life-and-death decision-making â€“ â€œUNIT TO BACK.â€ The dispatcher would send a car to an emergency call to a specific address and add the three magic words â€“ â€œUNIT-TO-BACK.â€ It wasnâ€™t a request, it was a demand. You dropped whatever you were doing or not doing and backed-up your teammate. It didnâ€™t matter if you liked your teammate or if s/he was your friend. It didnâ€™t matter if you socialized with him/her or if you couldnâ€™t stand him/her. You just backed-up. Thatâ€™s what teams do. They back each other up, unconditionally, no matter what.
No one wants an out-of-shape back-up. An out-of-shape back-up is an oxymoron â€“ itâ€™s not a back-up, itâ€™s a threat. If you want to be an Oakville Longhorn starter, you have to be the best back-up. You have to back-up your teammates no matter what. If you want to play individual sports, there are plenty of them.
Individual sports are brutally tough. So are team sports. The Oakville Longhorns play a team sport. When you chose the Longhorns, you chose a team sport over individual sports.
Oakville Longhorns have 4 seasons: off-season, pre-season, regular season, post-season. What you do or donâ€™t do in the off-season determines what happens in the post-season. What you do or donâ€™t do in the off-season determines what type of back-up you are and what type of starter you are. Once you decide to be a Longhorn, you commit to being the best back-up. You commit to backing up your teammate when you hear â€œUnit to back.â€ Being the best back-up you can be is non-negotiable. Itâ€™s not an option. Itâ€™s policy. Team policy.
Head coach â€“Oakville Longhorns football