People talk about the world being smaller as being a good thing.
In many ways, it is. We can go from one end of the country to the other in less than a day, or see an event halfway across the globe from our living rooms.
However, in making something smaller, that something and everything associated with it becomes smaller because pressure is applied to it. We expect more of the people and items in that world so that a better product is delivered instantaneously…regardless of whether they are ready for it or not. We also see their reactions to that world, visceral and exposed like a raw nerve.
Last Saturday, Cedar Hill receiver and Texas A&M commit Quincy Adeboyejo had three dropped passes, one of them that could have been a touchdown, in a 35-24 loss to Katy in the Class 5A Division II state championship game that was televised across the state before millions of viewers. Yesterday after the loss, Adeboyejo took to the air via twitter and tweeted the following:
"Lost my team a state championship….worst game that I've ever played…There's no way to keep my head up right now. I lost the game and embarrassed myself on TV. Aggie Nation probably regrets me committed but I don't blame them."
Adeboyejo even took the unusual step of retweeting criticism of his play from others.
In instances like this, we often forget about the fact that we are dealing with kids…talented kid but kids nonetheless. If they were our kids, we would do everything we could to shield them and comfort them and remind them that there are bigger tests in life that are headed their way because we are adults and have the perspective that they lack.
In that spirit, here's some perspective for Quincy.
1. For the season, Adeboyejo had 91 catches, averaged about 14 yards a catch, and scored 17 TDs. That led his team in all three categories. The next three receivers on he team totaled 100 catches for over 1,300 yards and 11 TDs. In other words, it took three guys to equal his production.
2. Those numbers put him second in Class 5A in the Metroplex in both receptions and yards and third in TDs.
He became one of the best in the Metoplex at his position and the only other guys putting up those types of numbers were four stars Jake Oliver and Rashaad Samples.
3. Cedar Hill lost the guy who was supposed to be its bell cow in the running game, Jared Rayford, in the second game of the season.
4. Cedar Hill went 6-4 during the regular season but he helped them to a state title game by registering 29 receptions for 361 yards and seven touchdowns during a four game stretch of the playoffs in which Cedar Hill was playing one score games every week.
Cedar Hill would not have played in that game Saturday without Adeboyejo. They would have shed the tears and suffered the pain of defeat without him having helped them win five straight playoff games under the greatest pressure imaginable.
5. Teams win and lose as teams and Cedar Hill was no exception Saturday. They gave up 275 yards rushing to Katy runner Adam Taylor including a 50 yard run on a fourth and one when they were up in the fourth quarter. They rushed for just over 100 yards themselves. They missed a field goal and couldn't recover an onside kick.
6. With regards to pressure and his response to it…the Texas A&M staff offered Adeboyejo a scholarship based on his length and athleticism back in the spring when he was coming off of a five catch season as a junior. He worked hard over the spring and summer to prove to others and maybe even himself that he was worthy of such an offer.
In his first game of the 2012 season against Class 4A state champion Denton Guyer…and on national television to boot…Adeboyejo snagged eight passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns. He mentioned afterwards that it was important to him to show Texas A&M fans…in their first real opportunity to see him…that he was worthy of an offer and he thrived on the pressure of knowing all of that.
Adeboyejo is still the same receiver that I saw go off against Denton Guyer in the season opener no matter what happened over the weekend. He needs to remember that and all of his other accomplishments and all of the other times he came through for this teammates and his town. Eventually, he will put what happened this weekend behind him. It's not going to be easy because as people say it's much easier to forgive others than to forgive yourself for sins, regardless of whether those sins are real or imagined.
Adeboyejo's sins are imagined but if he believes them to be real -- and that's the important part -- he needs to forgive himself and move on.
Everyone else that's important in his life has already done this. The rest of us that have a little different perspective on things are now encouraging him to follow our lead.