Remember the old Mac Davis song, "It's Hard to be Humble?"
"Oh Lord it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way. I can't wait to look in the mirror cause I get better looking each day. To know me is to love me I must be a hell of a man. Oh Lord it's hard to be humble but I'm doing the best that I can."
America celebrated its 234th birthday Sunday.
Under the rule of England's King George III back in the day, the United States consisted of 13 colonies.
The signing of the Declaration of Independence started because of growing unrest in the colonies due to the required taxes being paid to England - Taxation without Representation - as the colonists had no say in the English Parliament decisions.
Instead of trying to work out the differences, King George sent extra troops to quell any possible rebellion by the colonists.
The First Continental Congress was held in Philadelphia in 1774.
In April, 1775 Paul Revere's midnight ride marked the unofficial beginning to the American Revolution.
Thirteen months later, the colonies sent delegates to the Second Continental Congress.
One month later, a committee was formed to compose the Declaration of Independence. Headed by Thomas Jefferson, the committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman.
On June 28, 1776 Jefferson presented to congress the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
Congress had voted in favor of independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776 but did not complete the process of revising the Declaration of Independence until two days later.
After changes to Jefferson's original draft, a vote was taken late in the afternoon of July 4, 1776 - nine colonies voted in favor of the Declaration; two voted no, Pennsylvania and South Carolina; Delaware was undecided and New York abstained.
John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence. It is said that he signed his name "with a great flourish so King George can read that without spectacles."
Being humble obviously was not in King George's nature.
Being humble very well may have averted the writing of the Declaration of Independence.
It may have eventually delayed the inevitable, but if King George could have figured out a way to work out the differences between England and the colonies, who knows what would have happened.
"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." - Benjamin Franklin
"Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all." - William Temple
The last paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is as follows:
"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."
"We mutually pledge to each other ..."
That sounds like something a sports team can use as a motto, whether it's T-ball, youth soccer, cross country, lacrosse, track, wrestling or the almighty football.
That sounds like something all athletes of any age should read and understand.
That sounds like something parents should read when their offspring first try to play on a team.
Hey, athlete, if you think you are the star of the team, try being the star without your teammates.
In basketball, that means there is no one to pass you the ball. Oh, wait, first you have to get the ball inbounds and it will be really difficult to pass the ball to yourself.
In baseball or softball, that means you pitch, you catch, you throw the ball to yourself at first, you are the cutoff man and you bunt yourself to second base.
We won't even discuss football because that's nothing more than a hospital stay waiting to happen.
It's hard to be a better wrestler without a partner.
It's hard to be a better distance runner without someone there to push you.
You can only hit so many tennis balls against a wall or the garage door.
Being humble means a parent doesn't think its offspring it better than they are.
Being humble means you work harder than anyone else because it makes your team better.
Being humble does not mean just because you think you are the gift as an eighth-grade basketball player, you get the starting nod as a ninth-grader because of your pedigree.
Being humble does not mean you do not touch each baseline during a suicide.
Being humble means you make sure your entire foot goes over the baseline so everyone, including the coach, knows you are not there to cut corners.
Being humble means when the football coach says there is an open competition at quarterback, you bust your behind to win the competition and, if you don't, you look at the coach and simply say, "What do you want me to do for the team?"
There is no talent involved in being humble.
"Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
"I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
"And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." - Luke 18:10-14
More football news, as promised last week.
Weir High's schedule is in pairs - home, away, home, away, home.
The Red Riders open at home against Indian Creek (Aug. 27) and Harrison Central (Sept. 3) then visits Edison (Sept. 10) and Grafton (Sept. 17) before that stupid WVSSAC bye week. They then host Oak Glen (Oct. 1) and Magnolia (Oct. 8), visit Catholic Central (Oct. 16) and Brooke (Oct. 22) and entertain Buckeye Local (Oct. 29) and Tyler Consolidated (Nov. 5).
Edison alternates home and away the first six weeks - hosting Oak Glen (Aug. 27), Weir High (Sept. 10) and Harrison Central (Sept. 24) and going to Martins Ferry (Sept. 3), Tyler Consolidated (Sept. 17) and Union Local (Oct. 1). The Wildcats entertain St. Clairsville (Oct. 8) and Bellaire (Oct. 15) and go on the road at Buckeye Local (Oct. 22) and Indian Creek (Oct. 30).
Oak Glen visits Edison (Aug. 27), hosts Frontier (Sept. 3) and Indian Creek (Sept. 10), heads to Buckeye Local (Sept. 17), entertains Beaver Local (Sept. 24), then is on the road for three straight weeks at Weir (Oct. 1), Tyler Consolidated (Oct. 8) and East Liverpool (Oct. 15) before finishing the season at home with Catholic Central (Oct. 22) and Magnolia (Oct. 29). The Golden Bears have its bye the last week of the regular season and before the playoffs.
Toronto, under a new regime, opens at home with Wellsville on Aug. 26, goes to Bridgeport (Sept. 3) and Southern Local (Sept. 10), hosts Catholic Central (Sept. 17) and the Cleveland Knights (Sept. 24), visits St. John Central (Oct. 2), hosts Beallsville (Oct. 8), heads to Shadyside (Oct. 15) and Madonna (Oct. 22) and finishes at home with Morgantown Trinity (Oct. 29).
Harrison Central starts the season on the road with Claymont (Aug. 27), Weir High (Sept. 3) and Shadyside (Sept. 10), hosts Martins Ferry (Sept. 17), visits Edison (Sept. 24), entertains Bellaire (Oct. 1) and Buckeye Local (Oct. 8), goes to Indian Creek (Oct. 15) and Union Local (Oct. 22) and hosts St. Clairsville (Oct. 29).
Buckeye Local, also under a new regime, opens at home with Martins Ferry (Aug. 27), visits St. Clairsville (Sept. 3) and Bellaire (Sept. 11) and hosts three straight opponents in Oak Glen (Sept. 17), Indian Creek (Sept. 24) and John Marshall (Oct. 1), hits the road at Harrison Central (Oct. 8) and Union Local (Oct. 15), hosts Edison (Oct. 22) and finishes the year at Weir (Oct. 29).
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)