October 5, 2016
We all remember childhood bullies, the little psychopaths that tormented us and will ever have a place in our long-term memory. We also remember the one kid that stood up to that mutant, was that you? I myself have both cowered down and stood up. The times that we stood up are the times that have given us the most pride in ourselves and person we strive to be. Funny thing you didn’t feel so introspective at time when you stood your ground, you just knew that enough was enough. Cojones is the Spanish term for balls, yes but the term is trans gender when it is Americanized because women can have cojones when it comes to being brave and having some moral courage to take a risk.
When we are watching sports and you see a great play, you feel compelled to yell and hand out high fives. Then you see a play when an athlete really took a risk that elevated the team or their own performance to a higher level, that is cojones. If they fail while taking a risky chance, then we call that performer a fool to try. The line between success and failure is very thin and if you don’t succeed there are immediate consequences.
I was watching the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints on week 1 of the NFL season and saw the coach of the Raiders sporting a big set of cojones. His team just scored in the last seconds of the game to only trail by one point. The Raiders could have kicked an extra point to tie the game and send the contest into overtime. Raider head coach Jack Del Rio decided to go for a two-point conversion to put their team ahead by one point with 30 seconds remaining. If it backfired, he loses the game and he is blamed for being reckless. Fortunately, his team succeeded and held on to win the game. NFL games are high stake gambling affairs, are highly scrutinized by the fans and media that have the ultimate power to define your capabilities. Del Rio seemed calm and light hearted about the call and that is why I was so impressed.
In these days of big contracts, clothing endorsements, hyper media scrutiny and social media, rarely do you see athletes and coaches sway too far outside the norm. When they do wander into unconventional behaviors, the backlash will follow tenfold if they fail and make careless decisions. I am a big fan of the “flea flicker” play in football when you only see on a rare occasion. It’s a shame that football is fairly predictable in its play calling and most fans in recliners can figure out what is coming next. Real cojones are not often displayed like using onside kicks when they normally just blast a kick off into the end zone. Every so often we see a trendsetter and individuals that think outside the box and get us fans excited to see a new way.
Cojones really means “not giving a damn about criticism”. Be the person with big cojones in your life. When you can get kicked a little, spat on, yelled at, lambasted but what doesn’t break you makes you a tough son of a gun. Think outside the box and you will find how you are alone at times but when you are right on, the payday comes with higher rewards. I know this is just pop-psychology, but when you really think about it’s the only psychology that makes sense.