As a life long Notre Dame football fanatic, I felt discouraged when starting QB Malik Zaire experienced a season ending injury on Saturday. The Irish were struggling and had fallen behind to a fired up Virginia Cavaliers team. With less than 2 minutes remaining, redshirt freshman DeShone Kizer was placed into the difficult position of leading the Irish down the field to win the game. With less than 20 seconds remaining, he eluded a couple of defenders before firing a 39 yard strike to Will Fuller for a game winning touchdown! My family was ecstatic that the Luck of the Irish came through.
Like most Irish fans I was disappointed that Zaire, who has been in the system for 3 years and was showing great promise, was not going to be able to compete. And I wondered how Kizer, a young man thrown into a pressure packed situation, would respond to this situation. Even though he was a heralded high school quarterback and is a great athlete, this was a difficult situation in which to cut his teeth. Kizer responded marvelously! Although, life doesn’t get any easier as the top 20 ranked Georgia Tech Yellowjackets swarm into South Bend next weekend.
Some of the sports prognosticators are predicting Notre Dame’s playoff chances have disappeared with the sidelining of Zaire. While I wish he were still playing, the Irish have a tremendous opportunity to rally around its new quarterback and have everyone else step up their game a little more to become as good or better than before. The coaching staff and the players will determine Notre Dame’s destiny over the next 4 months.
All of us have been dealt tough blows in our life. We may not have deserved them and may get discouraged when thinking about our bad luck. But I can guarantee you that wallowing in your misfortune is not going to get you out of it. Tough times bring out the best in tough people. It is up to you how you choose to respond to adversity. My advice is….be creative, be strong, be determined, be an inspiration to others on how to handle pressure. Reach out to others for support, advice, knowledge, and motivation and remember what President Calvin Coolidge once said in his 7 word college commencement speech, “Never, never, never, never, never give up!”
Success is fighting through adversity.