As a high school coach, I did all I could to help my boys win their games. I rooted as hard for victory as they did.
A dramatic incident, however, following a game in which I officiated as a referee, changed my perspective on victories and defeats. I was refereeing a league championship basketball game in
Still seeking help in this bedlam, I approached the timekeeper, a young man of 17 or so. He said, "Mr. Covino, the buzzer went off as the ball rolled off the rim, before the final tap-in was made."
I was in the unenviable position of having to tell Coach O?Brien the sad news. "Dan," I said, "time ran out before the final basket was tapped in.
His face clouded over. The young timekeeper came up. He said, "I'm sorry, Dad. The time ran out before the final basket."
Suddenly, like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, Coach O?Brien's face lit up. He said, "That's okay, Joe. You did what you had to do. I'm proud of you."
Turning to me, he said, "Al, I want you to meet my son, Joe."The two of them then walked off the court together, the coach's arm around his son's shoulder.