New Castle News

September 19, 2013

Tim Kolodziej: Coach hits the right note with message to opponent

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “God cares more about the development of the dreamer than the realization of the dream.” — Tony Evans



Think that statement is true?

I mean, what if the goal isn’t really the goal?

You know, what if the goal isn’t just winning games?

What if the goal isn’t just to bring in millions of dollars a year and please the alums?

What if, instead, the goal is what happens to us as we pursue what we THINK is the goal.

Developing young men and women instead of just players. Developing dreamers instead of just pursuing a dream.

Sports is the perfect vehicle for that. Traits like discipline, punctuality, overcoming odds, teamwork, creativity and goal-setting have nothing to do with a scorebook or bankbook.

But we tend to forget that. I sometimes forget that. And the sports world continues to spiral out of control.

For sure, professional sports has always been about the money.

Sadly, big-time college athletics have gone that route as well.

But every once in a while, if we look hard enough, we can find a glimmer of hope. Maybe not a silver lining in a bevy of storm clouds. Maybe not even a ray of sunshine.

But every now and then, a light peeks out from the darkness to help us remember why we love the games so much.

Thank you, Bill Snyder, for the latest reminder.

After suffering through a humiliating defeat to North Dakota State (think Appalachian State beating Michigan a few years back), the long-time Kansas State coach didn’t do what lots of big-time coaches do.

No midnight practices until you puke.

No ripping apart his team in the newspaper.

No running off scholarship players.

Instead, he had some strong words for Brock Jensen, the Bison quarterback who picked apart Snyder’s Wildcats.



“Congratulations, Brock. I was truly impressed with you and your teammates. You played so very well, virtually error free and with such poise. I wish you a great year and hope you achieve all you desire. Please share my thoughts with your teammates.”



— Warm regards,

Bill Snyder




Shocker.

And I’m not talking about the final score.

A note of congratulations ... from an opposing coach.

Seriously?

Hand-written on Kansas State letterhead ... in a Twitter and Facebook world.

Really?

Grace and class ... in a Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith universe.

You’re kidding, right?

Yep, in a culture that celebrates the Lane Kiffins and the Johnny Footballs, there’s still Bill Snyder, sending his regards to the opposing quarterback after perhaps the worst loss of his career.

Call me crazy, but I think Snyder still believes there’s more to sports than winning ball games — though he wins a lot.

Call me nuts, but I think he still believes there’s more to sports than developing players — though he’s sent quite a few stars to the NFL.

At the ripe old age of 75, Snyder has reintroduced a fresh idea into the crazy world of big-time sports — mentoring young men and women.

Just don’t expect it to catch on like the spread offense.

Even though it makes perfect sense, there’s no guarantee it will make any dollars.