I’m a big fan of the television show South Park. One of the funniest episodes I can remember, entitled “About Last Night”, came on the heels of the 2008 national election in the United States. In the aftermath, after being repeatedly told that it was the “most important election of our lifetime”, supporters of John McCain (the loser) locked themselves away in a cave, conviced that the world was going to end. Meanwhile Barak Obama supporters celebrated, much like thousands of people did at Grant Park in downtown Chicago about two blocks away from where I live. In the show, both groups emerged the next morning to find to their amazement (and disappointment) that the world was exactly the same as it had been the night before.
Everyone knows by now that it was all utter nonsense (even as people repeat the same mistake and harp away about this year’s election). It’s not that you shouldn’t vote or that who you vote for isn’t important. It just isn’t that important. And, in the end, it doesn’t make that big of a difference.
The truth of the matter is that people who really desire change need to institute it themselves as their own little part of the whole, day by day. And that’s why I love Tyler Clutts.
Tyler Clutts is a fullback. He was, in fact, the only fullback the Bears had on thier training camp roster. And there’s a reason for that. The offense for all practical purposes doesn’t have one. New offensive coordinator Mike Tice, a tight end in his own playing days, prefers to use that position as a blocker whenever one is called for.
But Clutts was undaunted. Day after day, preseason game after preseason game, he gave it his all. He made plays blocking for others, made plays on special teams, did whatever he was asked with maximum effort in an apparently fruitless attempt to make a team that didn’t even have a place for him. Why? Because it was in his nature to do so, as explained by Pat Hill (via Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune):
“’He is just so mentally and physically tough, leather tough. He’s a self-starter, and when you hear a coach like me talk in glowing superlatives about him, everything I say about him is true,’ former Fresno State coach Pat Hill, now the offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons, said about his former player. ‘When I use the term he’s an overachiever, I don’t mean he’s not a good player. He’s a really good player. But he achieves over what is expected of him no matter what you have to do.’”
Perhaps Clutts, himself, put it best:
“You really cannot ever count yourself out”.
The best thing about this story is that the effort Clutts put in earned him a reward. Instead of finding himself out on the street, he was traded yesterday to a team that will use him, the Texans.
Like a lot of people out there, I’ve had my own problems of late. Nothing that would register on the radar of people who are in really bad shape but significant enough when they’re yours. When I look around and wonder what I should do, I look at people like Clutts and the lesson they teach. That if you keep giving it your all and have a little faith, good things will happen. So I say kudos to him and every person out there like him. You are the reason why this country works.