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Schultz: Off-field events understandable, but unforgivable

Chris Schultz
11/18/2008 7:26:28 PM
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So here we go, off to Montreal for the 96th Grey Cup.

A lot will be made about the week, the city, what to avoid and what to concentrate on. Now 90 percent of the players, coaches and administrators will have no problem - their focus will be on the preparation cycle leading up to the game. The other 10 percent you just don't know.

Every team has its wild child; a player who is very good on the field but very adventurous off. The difficulty with the Grey Cup is that everyone is in a good mood, everyone is happy to see everyone and it's like a feeding frenzy. What starts out as an innocent social moment can quickly turn into a late night that saps your energy for the entire week.

In 1987, my first Grey Cup - Edmonton and Toronto from Vancouver - we had a couple of wild child's and it took away from our chance to win. When we watched the film later in the week, you could see who was worn out before the end of the half. Although I understand these moments of activity, they truly are unforgivable.

Football is so interdependent, it is amazing. For one player to have an exceptional game, it takes others to provide the impetus. Do the two head coaches in this game need to remind the players that this is a business trip only? Of course, one strong comment by the head coach can keep a player aware of making the right decision at the right moment.

It is interesting that as time goes by, you're more consciously aware of missed opportunities than made accomplishments. If come Grey Cup Sunday, you have not done everything you can to be ready for everything, you will regret it. It could be as simple as spending extra time in study for an opponent, or making sure to be back in your hotel room before the party below starts.

To be able to participate in a Grey Cup is a memory for life and a ring to show you were there. Do not let the city take it away from you.

Chris Schultz

Chris Schultz

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