HAIL MARY, HAIL FLUTIE, HAIL THE “IMPOSSIBLE”

On November 23, 1984, the day I turned 23-years-old, Doug Flutie, the diminutive quarterback for the Boston College Eagles, taught me a lesson that I never forgot.  It was literally during the last second of the football game between the Eagles and their arch rival the Miami Hurricanes.  Boston College was down 45-41.  Boston College was on the Hurricane’s 48-yard-line with 6 seconds left on the clock.  The game was “over.”

But that’s when something “impossible” happened.   That’s when Flutie huddled with his offensive line and called what was known as his “55 Flood Tip” play, in which the receivers would run straight routes into the end zone.  The ball was hiked to Flutie, who scrambled away from a sack, back to his own 37-yard line, 63 yards from the Hurricane’s end zone.  And, then, with precisely 1 second left on the clock, Flutie, who stood just 5’ 10” tall, whose arm might have been considered too worn from throwing the football 45 times already in that game, who no one on the Miami team believed could throw 63 yards, uncorked the football against 30 mile per hour winds.  And the football flew those 63 yards into the arms of his roommate and teammate, wide-receiver Gerard Phelan, who had run past the Miami defensive backs and into the endzone.

Miami won the game, 47-45.

If you know anything about me or about Pain-2-Power, you probably know why I am telling you this story.  It’s because Doug Flutie and Gerard Phelan and everyone on the Boston College team had to believe that 6 seconds could be long enough to win a game that everyone considered them to have already lost.  It’s because Doug Flutie had to believe with just 1 second left on the clock that throwing a football with all his might, into the wind, really could mean that his roommate could catch it 63 yards away, with the Miami defense scrambled to stop that from happening.  It’s because when people count you out, when people tell you that you’ve lost and should pack it in and move on, when you’re tired, and you see that all the odds are stacked against you and the wind is in your face, and time has all but run out, you are still not defeated—unless you believe that you are.

Never, ever believe it.  Use the certainty of your defeat that lives in the hearts and minds of your opponents to defeat them, the way a martial artist uses the weight and momentum of his opponent to propel that opponent onto the canvas.

God favors those who count on Him.  And when you believe in your SELF and you expend all the effort you can to triumph, against all the odds, you are automatically praying to God to help make it happen.

Dr. Keith Ablow

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