The Hard Bargain: Don’t Ever Give Up

The feeling of failure is universal. We all know the frustration of trying and failing at something.

Everyone has heard the clichés: “It isn’t whether or not you fall, it’s whether or not you get back up. If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

The problem is where do you find the motivation to try again?

For me, I have learned numerous ways to motivate myself. I have watched Jim Valvano’s ESPY speech dozens of times. I even watched it, in addition to Stuart Scott’s speech, today in preparation for this subject. Hearing those men speak so simply, yet so profoundly, makes me feel encouraged and inspired.

One of my daughters, “the Sneaky Girls,” has an especially difficult time when she tries something and fails. It is such a challenge for me to get her to leave the failed attempt behind and try again. When a homework assignment seems difficult, she claims that it does not make sense. She breaks down in tears when she is not good at something immediately. We talk about the importance of practice.

Simple repetition will improve your competency in nearly any area. She seems to understand it. I explain that nobody is good at things when they first try. You cannot be your best without putting in the effort. The most important thing really is to try again.

I employed several strategies to encourage her to give something another try, but when she struggles, she is so quickly defeated. She will exclaim that she, “is not good at this.” I have tried to be patient and understanding, giving her praise for effort and prodding her to try again. Other times, I have taken a stern approach and told her to, “not be a quitter.” We have our understandings and our disagreements, but rarely am I successful in getting her to take another shot without her having a complete meltdown and starting all over.

When Coach Valvano delivered his 1993 speech, he spoke those very memorable words, the mission of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, “Don’t give up… don’t ever give up.”

Those words mean a great deal to me when it comes to my parenting. I make mistakes. I try again. I never give up. With cooperation from my daughter, we are going to identify a motivational strategy that works for her. I want her to feel like she can accomplish great things and that I will always believe in her.

I think we all need someone to believe in us and support us, especially when we are struggling, and feel defeated. Moving forward and redoubling your efforts is tough and can feel overwhelming. It helps me to remember that to retain perspective on what my daughter goes through with her challenges, being there, with patience and empathy, will always go a long way.

Presented with difficult obstacles, it may be tempting to give up. No doubt, your fantasy teams are facing a challenge with many top offenses and fantasy assets on bye in Week 7. Add to that new and existing injuries and setting a complete lineup becomes a considerably more difficult task, especially in deeper leagues.

Fortunately, I have a few suggestions which may help you navigate the choppy Week 7 waters.

Week 7 Deep League Lineup Recommendations

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, San Francisco 49ers)

The 49ers travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts and should have Jimmy Garoppolo back in the saddle at quarterback for the first time since Week 4. The matchup is favorable, as the Colts allow the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Their secondary is also a bit banged up, particularly at the safety position.

In his four starts this year, Garoppolo has thrown five touchdowns. He is not exactly lighting the world on fire, but he has a decent 66.1 completion percentage this year. Deebo Samuel is leading all wide receivers in Yards After the Catch (YAC) with 289. As a team, San Francisco ranks 14th in the NFL in passing yards per game, but four of the higher-ranked teams are on bye this week. Garoppolo may be enough to get you through this jam.

Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, New England Patriots)

Rhamondre Stevenson has an enviable matchup against the New York Jets, who are currently allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Jets’ linebacker C.J. Mosley is dealing with a hamstring injury, as well.

Stevenson may see an increased role as teammate, Brandon Bolden, is battling a thigh injury. Fellow backfield mate, Damien Harris, though not on the Week 7 injury report, has recently been slowed by an ankle and a rib injury. Harris will play against the Jets. Still, the coaching staff may decide to work Stevenson in a little more to ease Harris’ load.

Stevenson has a 100 percent catch rate this season on his four targets and may see more passing down work as a result. He remains a high-risk play, but the running back landscape is bleak this week.

Rashod Bateman (WR, Baltimore Ravens)

Rashod Bateman, the highly-regarded rookie, made his NFL debut last week and received a 22.2 percent target share. It was noteworthy to see him targeted so heavily in his first game. Lamar Jackson is throwing the ball more this season and has seen his passing yards per game increase by over 97 yards compared to last year’s numbers.

The Ravens have not had much choice but to lean more on the passing game with their injuries at running back. With Marquise Brown stretching the field, that will open up area for Bateman to work underneath. Running back Latavius Murray is out for Sunday’s matchup with the Bengals, meaning the importance of the shorter passing game will increase, opening a greater role up for Bateman.

O.J. Howard (TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

O.J. Howard flashed his talent last Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He saw seven targets from Tom Brady and caught six of them, posting 49 yards and a touchdown. Rob Gronkowski remains sidelined due to injury and Howard should get another chance to step up in his place.

Four of Howard’s six receptions were for first downs and a fifth was an end zone target, so Brady was looking his way in critical situations. Chicago is a difficult matchup for Howard, as they have only allowed one touchdown to tight ends this season. Still, with Brady’s affinity for the position leaves me optimistic about Howard’s chances.


Life is hard, but it gets a little easier when we learn to lean on each other. Find me on Twitter @DaveFantasy for more life and fantasy sports content.