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Teamwork is about believing... in your mates

June 25, 2020 - 06:00
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  • Teamwork is about believing... in your mates
    Lee Coleman

In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused me to stop and think about some things in a whole different light. Without dancing around the May Pole, my neardeath experience in late April and early May sure enough got me thinking.

Resuscitate, failed kidneys and heart attack. Those three words or phraseology, as you will, certainly grabbed my attention and had me dancing around the mulberry bush, at night time in my skivvies, because I was afraid to take too much time looking for my dang clothes. Yes, indeed, it was

Yes, indeed, it was frightening. But because of the teamwork of Putnam County EMS, Good Samaritan’s Hospital in Greensboro and St. Mary’s ICU unit in Athens, I was spared. They and God alone gave me another shot at this thing we call life.

And, of course, the quick thinking of my beautiful wife LeAnn who knew I was in trouble that night and immediately beckoned our teammates to go to work!

The question now has become, what do I need to do with this opportunity? I have bounced off the walls of the Grand Canyon pondering the answers and of all the preponderances that have ensued, in most every walk of life we, unknowingly perhaps, are surrounded by teammates.

COVID-19 has brought teammates to the forefront of sports, unlike it has ever been. We, now more than ever, have to trust in our teammates. For many things. Like doing the right things as the fight against COVID continues.

Like believing in each other like none other. Like supporting each other in our daily walks like none other. Like trusting in our faith and God perhaps like we never have before.

Like the song says, trust and obey, there’s no other way.

Where He sends, we will go.

For me, my wife is my teammate. This past Saturday we celebrated 29 years together. We had a pontoon sunset ride scheduled on Lake Oconee and it came apart on us in the last couple of hours beforehand. The dinner plans, the dinner surprises. The dinner and boat ride, everything.

But that’s okay. We had fish and shrimp from The Grill at Lake Oconee and enjoyed every second of it. We really enjoy the fish part of that meal.

I’ve been newspapering for nearly 20 years now and a lot of that has been on the sports end of it. For many years, as my wife likes to remind me, has been spent on the road traveling to a bunch of football games, most of them eight-man games. More on that later.

In Oklahoma, a road game means you’d better bring along a brown paper sack lunch and/or dinner because you’re going to be gone for awhile. An old fashioned Gatlin gun might not be a bad idea either because it’s likely you’re going to come face-to-face with some pretty wild looking animals or be in a small town where the possibility of disappearing might be on the radar.

In some Oklahoma small towns, folks don’t take too kindly to strangers showing up in their towns and asking a lot of questions about their teams, their coaches, their kin folks and what time their local businesses close on Friday night.

Doesn’t seem to be par for the course there. In fact, not being “par” for a particular golf course there may liken itself to having the chains locked on the wood poles stretching across the road on Friday nights. Entrance is just not allowed on Friday night. You can’t go parking there on Game Night. Saturday night is okay as long as you

Saturday night is okay as long as you park between hole number 4 and the concession stand on the ninth hole. In fact, you have one hour to leave after the game is over. That rule is based on local legend that one hour is enough time to pick up your cigarette butts out of the putting green cups and bury them in the sand traps before the stadium, er, in Oklahoma, the field lights, are turned off.

Or, if you can’t see them from your vertical position, turn your head to the left and look for the vertical car lights to be gone because that means the last coach has left the garden house and no longer needs the lights to find his way to his truck to git home for, to, er, Maybelle. After all, it is Friday night and the youngins’ are probably at the golf course waitin’ for dim car lights to go away. Little red Flying Radio wagons don’t have lights. They just use EverReady flashlights tied to the handle and taped down with black duct tape. Or turn to the right if you pay extra

Or turn to the right if you pay extra at the chain gate to have the Saturday night special “Horizontal Bop Night” on holes 7 and 8. Watch them “skeeters” however. They are as big as Rickk-k-k-key’s olive colored blue jays and will bite the “pastel” out your behind. Them things come out of the pond whose water doubles as a water utility backup during the week. Yummy, makes me thirsty. I’ll take the “Zero Gatorade please!”

But LeAnn was always my teammate on the road in Oklahoma. One night we got to the ballpark early and watched as about 200 big black ants carried pieces of popcorn to their hole in the ground for the queen.

Those black ants are some hard workers unless they are taking a break and carrying a can of Skoal back to the hole. If they grab it outta your pocket, don’t reach for it because you might lose a digit in the process.

Overall, the black ants are pretty nice but not so much for the local fellas that forgot to cut the sleeves off their multi-colored plaid shirts to wear with their blue jean overalls. They have to wear the same, sleeveless shirt three weeks in a row to get 50 percent off the gate price. If they don’t wear a shirt all three weeks in a row and attest to the gatekeeper by unsavory means they didn’t shower during that time, they are good to go for free.

That sponsorship money paid goes to “The Rattler Roundup” in the spring but remember, if you can, don’t buy the chicken.

“Them thangs are sum gute eatin’ with sum dat grevvie.”

“Flo “Nasal Spay” Florsheim dun told me sew!”

Especially without any socks on. I love my teammates.

This is Got a minute, I’m out.

Didn’t pass out. Just too much grevvie!

Got a minute...or three?