Two of the most overused words in sports are "overcoming adversity." It’s the catch-phrase for coaches, who like to refer to anything tough as overcoming adversity.
It has a wide-range of uses — hang nail, opponent’s stadium, finals week. It seems a football team is not manly unless it overcomes adversity a few times throughout the season.
Yesterday, I heard the true meaning of the phrase. In the last year, the football team from Nicholls State University near New Orleans has weathered an NCAA investigation that led to the firing of its head football coach, Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Katrina. In the last week, head football coach Jay Thomas saw his players bolt before the storm, only to wonder what had become of some of them. Just finding a phone that worked in the last week was a chore.
I asked him if any of his players are suffering from some trauma:
"We have some." he said. "We have the local shelter helping our players with things like communication with their family members. A number of guys didnt know when they came back if anybody would be able to assit them. Its tough to get started, but today is much better."
Now that is overcoming adversity