Saturday 14 December 2019

Life Like Football Match

Coach Benedict Ugwu 

I was thinking this morning..... On Saturday November 30th, while the Nigerian Professional Football League match between Enugu Rangers and Akwa Starlets was ongoing at the Enugu Stadium, something strange happened. At about the 85th minute of the game, an announcement was made through the public address (PA) system, that the coach of the Coal city side, Benedict Ugwu, has been sacked. The game ended 0-2 in favor of Akwa Starlet (now Dakkada FC). Wow!

The way the sacking was done got many Nigerians talking but got me thinking. Why couldn't the Club Management wait for an additional 5 minutes for the match to end before sacking the coach, if they felt he wasn't delivering? If they must sack him, why would they have to do so through the PA System while he was busy in the dugout? The more I thought about it, the more the life lessons dropped on me like dew on a cold harmattan morning. 

I thought about this couple I knew in the neighbourhood I grew up in Warri. They had six children which I believe they brought up to the best of their ability. Life didn't turn out as expected as all the children dropped out of school. Everyone blamed the parents saying they had failed. It occurred to me that if they were coaches of a football club, they would probably have been sacked like Benedict Ugwu. A non-enthusiast of football will wonder why they will sack coach Benedict Ugwu when he was not the one in the field of play. He has done his best, told the players what to do, but yet they let him down. Hmm! Life is like coaching from the dugout.

Coach Benedict Ugwu was relieved of his job in the 85th minute while the match was still on. Wow! Isn't life like a 90 mins football game with extra time? There are many that have been let go from the match of life early in the first half of their lives. They were still marshalling out their plans on how to win the match, and the heavenly announcement was made to call them home. Yet, others see the match to the end of 90 mins. Life! About 3 years ago, my dear uncle was in the dugout working for the success of his team (family). It was the beginning of his second half and his team was winning, when suddenly the announcement was made. He slumped and that was it. He was gone. He was taken off when the match was only 65 minutes gone (he was 65 years old). But why would the heavenly announcement be made when he was winning the match? Life is like coaching or playing in a football match. Not everyone will stay till the end of regulation time.

When the announcement was made through the PA system announcing the sack of Benedict Ugwu, many Nigerians frowned at and condemned the act, saying it was insensitive. But I asked, isn't that the same way we all are taken off the scene? There is always an announcement. The difference is the response of the crowd of witnesses. Do they give you a standing ovation or boo you out? 

My prayer is that we all will be in the game till the end of regulation time (90 years) plus extra time (30 years) according to Genesis 6:3, but what is important is your focus on your success and that of your team. Should you be taken out before the end of regulation time, like was done to Benedict Ugwu, then you should leave knowing that you have given only your best and impacted lives. This is the season to impact lives, do it with all thy might.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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