I'm sitting in the office this morning, trying to work but I have an ear (and occasional eye) on my television and CNN following the events in Oklahoma. It reminded me of another time that I was glued to a television.
It was November 7, 2007 and it was reported that the Bluffton College baseball team's bus had plunged of an interstate ramp in Atlanta, Georgia. There were 7 that were killed and 29 injured. One of the most educational experiences of my coaching life was working with Cal Bailey and the NAIA baseball team at West Virginia State College. I learned so much and forever will have a spot in my heart for small college baseball.
I remember being glued to CNN as they covered the event. I will forever remember them interviewing one of the Bluffton players. He was cut and scratched and smudged with dirt. The reporter asked him what he remembered and he complied. He then went on to describe going to the bus with some of his teammates and pulling out other teammates one by one. Going back until help came. The reporter asked him why he would, injured himself, and with the smell of gas all around keep going back and pulling out teammates and his answer was simple yet powerful:
"That's what teams do."
That line, that thought, the meaning, has never left me.
Other images that stay with me were that of the heroic teachers at Sandy Elementary that saved many lives of students, even at the cost of their own. That resonates with me this morning again as we see and hear about so many brave teachers that saved the lives of many children, again, even at the costs of their own in some cases.
As a coach, I consider myself a teacher. I have my own kids. I have my own team. Perhaps that why it is so difficult to watch and hear all that it is going on in Oklahoma this morning.
Most of you that follow me on twitter, Facebook or read this blog do so because you are part of a team. You are either a coach or a player.
And just as the Bluffton baseball team taught us, it's time for us to go in and help in any way we can. Because "that's what teams do."
I'm asking all that read my blog and follow me on twitter to be "part of a team" -- a powerful social media team that can make a strong and immediate impact. The link below is from CNN that gives everyone a number of resources that we can support.
Last night I tweeted "Please text a donation to help those in Oklahoma and RT -- Text 'RED CROSS' to 90999 to send a $10 donation...we can make a difference!" Certainly Red Cross is a major player but CNN has given us other options as well.
Please understand, I am not just asking us all to make a donation. I'm asking you to reTweet on twitter and share on Facebook as well as post on Instagram asking your followers and friends to both donate and spread the word as well.
As someone who lived in Louisiana for 25 years and saw firsthand the devastation of what Hurricanes can do to families and communities, I can tell you that there is a LONG, HARD STRUGGLE ahead. The news will cover for a week or so but the need for support and help will last for quite some time.
As coaches, as teachers, as parents, as Americans -- we need to step up and help in as many ways as we possibly can. This could be an amazing effort via social media. Let's all pull together and do what we can -- BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT TEAMS DO!