You are a running back in the NFL, and you are playing in the Super Bowl, the biggest game of the year.
With less than a minute to go, your team is trailing by two points. 11 million people are watching as the clock ticks down.
The ball is on the six yard line and your number is called in the huddle. You are about to be given the ball.
The ball is snapped. As the quarterback hands you the ball, he yells, “Don’t score! Don’t Score!”
You secure the ball, and you do what you have been training for years to do. You are racing toward the goal line when it finally resonates…what did the quarterback just say?
You seem to be moving in slow motion as you realize that nobody on the defense has tried to tackle you. In fact, it’s as if they are intentionally creating an open lane for you to walk right through.
And then it hits you. You try to stop, but it’s too late…your momentum carries you into the end zone.
The refs raise their hands, and it’s official – you just scored the go-ahead touchdown. But your team and even your own fans aren’t sure how to react. Because now, there are 57 seconds remaining on the clock and you have just given the other team the opportunity to take back the lead before time runs out.
Maybe you’ve never played in the Super Bowl, or any football game for that matter. But have you ever reacted in a way that seemed natural but wasn’t actually for the best?
Our instincts are often good, but they are not always good. Quick reactions can land punches, speak words that cut, and destroy relationships.
In Super Bowl XLVI, Ahmad Bradshaw scored that touchdown because he did what he was paid to do – gain yards and score touchdowns. He did what he has been trained to do for years.
Yet, at this time, in this game, it wasn’t the best thing to do.
Fortunately, as quarterback Eli Manning said, “It worked out.” But if things had gone just a little differently in that final 57 seconds, Bradshaw’s actions could have cost his team the game.
In the words of Bradshaw:
“It’s a tough feeling, I didn’t think about it and then Eli says, ‘Don’t score! Don’t score!’ as soon as he gives me the ball. It didn’t click until like the 1-yard line. I tried to go down and tap down but the momentum took me in… To leave that much time on the clock was kind of risky.”
In what areas of your life do you need to think just a little bit longer before reacting?
Where do you need to slow down before doing what comes naturally?