All too often our nation, our business, our markets, our politics, and so many aspects of our lives focus on the very short term. Even our sports tend to focus on the short term as well. How many times do we seem to focus on and debate the outcome of yesterday's game without appreciating the efforts, the commitment, and the teamwork that are required to generate even a modicum of success. Dare I say the pride and passion of tradition are embodied much more in the latter than the former.
Don't get me wrong, victories are critically important. Why else do they keep score?
That said, as we gather together to celebrate our traditional Thanksgiving feasts, is there any doubt that our real sense of gratitude lies not in outcomes but much more in the effort expended and the relationships developed along the way.
In that spirit and with the Holy Cross Football team having just completed its seventh straight winning season, I think there would be many on this distribution who would join me in thanking:
1. Coach Tom Gilmore and his dedicated staff for their endless hours of work in preparing "our Crusaders" during the season and equal if not greater commitment in advancing the program during the off season. Let's not forget to thank Tom's better half, Joanie, and the better halves of all those on the staff.
2. The student-athletes and all those connected to Holy Cross Football who display the pride and passion on the field which we love to express off the field.
3. The parents and families of all those on the team who by extension increase the pride and passion of our Crusader Football family. Special thanks to the parents and families of this year's senior class. Don't be a stranger in the years ahead.
4. The 130 mentors who are committed to helping our Crusaders "win off the field".
5. All those in the Holy Cross administration and Athletics Office whom have supported the efforts of the HCGLC over the past two years. Special thanks to Fr. McFarland as he gets ready to depart Mt. St. James. We wish him godspeed to wherever the good Lord directs him.
6. Special thanks to the numerous Holy Cross alums and supporters who make attending the Crusader Football games so enjoyable. I do not have the time nor the space to list all those who fall into this category but they run from those who graduated in the late '40s to graduates from just this past May. Let's never forget the passion of our subway alums.
7. Special thanks to Brendan Devlin '01 who had the vision and dedication to launch and develop the Fill Fitton Field site which was integral in making the 1st night game in the history of Holy Cross Football a resounding success.
When I add up the pride and passion for Holy Cross Football embodied in all of these individuals and groups highlighted above, I am assuredly not alone in knowing we have something truly VERY SPECIAL. How special?
Well, please allow me to share a paragraph taken from a recent letter written by Fr. McFarland. He highlighted the following,
"On Sept. 1, Holy Cross held the first night football game in its history against the University of Massachusetts. The game drew what was probably the largest crowd to see a football game at Holy Cross in almost 20 years. Alumni who had not been back to campus in years came to see it. Most of the student body was there, arrayed in purple and cheering loudly throughout the game. The beautiful late summer evening, enthusiastic crowd and exciting game created a festive air in which everyone enjoyed a wonderful time.
The response to this game shows the power of sports to engage a community and bring it together."
No doubt about that.
While we will have plenty of opportunities (team breakup luncheon in February, spring game/cookout, and golf outing in June) to get together over the coming months, we have 9 full months before we can once again express our Purple Pride and Passion for Holy Cross Football at Fitton Field when we see the Cross take on the Wildcats of the University of New Hampshire. This game is also expected to take place 'under the lights'!!
In an attempt to help those who are already suffering withdrawal and simultaneously further elevate the fabulous tradition which encompasses the program, I welcome sharing with you a video which will allow us all to relive the memories made this past September 1st.
How does one define tradition? Joe Wilson, Jon Morris, Al and George Connor, Bruce Kozerski, Rick Cohn, Bobby Hurley, Bill Campbell, Vince Promuto, Mike Pizzotti, Jim Grogan, Larry Ewald, Glenn Verrette, Craig Cerretani, Dick Regan, and so many more are captured in this 38 minute tribute video.
You think this program and these people are special?
Just a little bit.
Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to everybody in the Holy Cross Football family!!
2011 Ring of Honor Video (click on the link)
Holy Cross Gridiron Leadership Council Mission: committed to excellence in helping Holy Cross Football win on and off the field!!