Literally, I have not watched two seconds of the World Cup. Let me take that back. Maybe two seconds. I walked by my friend’s office last week after work and she was watching. Aside from that, I’ve really had no interest. If the United States were playing, I might have had a bit more interest, or maybe not. Right now, my attention is focused on Wimbledon and the Cubs.
Chances are I will not remember next year who won the 2018 World Cup, but there is one thing that I will never forget. Perhaps you’ve heard about it and if not, allow me to share. Earlier this week, Belgium rallied late to beat Japan. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Japanese. I’ve been around teams that have had heartbreaking loses and it’s usually not pretty.
I’ve been part of a program that lost the national championship game in overtime. I’ve seen excruciating baseball and basketball loses. I’ve witnessed hockey sticks being broken over crossbars and coolers taking the wrath of baseball bats. I know that some of players regret their actions, but in the heat of the moment, things happen. I’ve often been glad that I’m not the person who has to clean the locker room following the games.
After such a heartbreaking loss, Japan left their locker room perfectly spotless. It was immaculate. There was just one thing remaining in the locker room when they left. It was a note that simply said “thank you” in Russian.
C.J. Watts once said, “Character is doing what’s right when nobody is looking.” I believe that is oh so very true. Japan did not leave their locker room like that to impress the world. It’s who they are. The class they showed is one sports lesson that I won’t soon forget.