Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My Journey to a Football Game

When Jim told me that there would be a lot of people at The Taste of the Danforth Greek Food festival, I thought he was joking. I thought the entire city was at the festival. It was fun, it was hot and the food was....You know me. In matters of food, only the quantity matters. Unfortunately we had to leave early as Skylar could not handle the heat. We had fun though.

Talking about Jim, last week he called me and asked me this question: Do you know a guy named Mitch? I had to admit that it was the first time hearing that name. Jim then told me that Mitch called him to ask if he knew a guy named Patrick Bizindavyi. Of course Jim knows me. As it turned out, Mitch works for the Toronto Argonauts. For those of you who have no clue of what I am talking about, the Toronto Argonauts are the 2012-2013 champions of the Canadian Football League (I am talking about American Football).

Long story short, the Argonauts are putting together an event for entrepreneurs on September 3rd at their stadium just before their game against Montreal, and they were looking for 3 speakers for the event. Guess what! I am speaking at the event. I am REALLY looking forward to the opportunity.
The only question I had for Jim was to know how Mitch knew my name. As it turned out, he is working with Lawrence (another friend of mine) who had invited me several months ago to speak at his event in Newmarket. I guess I made a good impression on Lawrence. This is really good stuff.

This whole experience reminded me of my Basketball coaching years. In 1999, we won our first championship (after trying for many years). The way the championship came together is an event that will stay forever in my memory.

We won every single game except against the reigning champions. That defeat was crucial for us. We knew there was no other team that could beat them. On the last day of the season, we were playing a quite inferior team and we knew we would beat them. It was just a formality to finish the season, knowing that the championship had escaped us.

Towards the end of the game, we heard a huge commotion coming from the other side of the court. We had to stop the game to figure out what was going on. To our surprise, it was several people who were coming from another game happening at another court. We didn't know that there was another game that day. Guess what! The team that was supposed to win the championship that season was playing against an inferior team, and.....they lost. Are you kidding me!? Their defeat made us the automatic champions for that season. They thought they would be cruising to victory. Surprise surprise! They lost.

We had worked so hard for years, we deserved to win the championship, but there was no hope for us. Guess what! It ain't over until it's over. We won the championship that year, and the next 2 years as well.

Why am I telling you this story? Just to let you know that, when you have worked so hard and don't seem to go to the next level, just keep the faith. There is something happening at a level that you don't see yet (like the game that was happening at another court that resulted in us winning the championship). At the right time, things will come together for you. I was minding my own business without knowing that the Argonauts were looking for a speaker and that my name was in discussion. What did I do to deserve this? Nothing except that Lawrence was looking for a speaker  several months ago in Newmarket and I showed up. The rest is history.

Moral of the story? Do you want to speak at a stadium? Just coach Basketball and you will eat at a Greek food festival.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman


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