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The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate by Jeremy Schaap, Jon Gordon

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Chapter 12The Spirit of a Team

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Our first game back was against Yale and it was scheduled for a Saturday afternoon. Our team wanted to wear a symbol of George to keep him close, so we decided to wear patches of the hard hat, complete with the number 21, on our jerseys. When our guys walked into the locker room and for the first time saw the game jerseys hanging in their lockers with the patches sewn on, it certainly stirred a lot of emotions.

As we began our pregame preparations, fog started to roll in and made it very difficult to see from one end of the field to the other. To this day, I have never seen anything like it. The cloud sat on the field and made it unplayable, so we moved the game to the following day. Many of the guys said it was a sign from George.

We played Yale on Sunday, which turned out to be a beautiful sunny Ithaca day. I will never forget the feeling coming out of the locker room. We placed a large picture of George in a Cornell Red uniform on a table to remind the team why we had chosen to be together on the field again. Each player walked past the framed photo of George with great emotion and took the field. It was a very somber experience, unlike your typical pregame feelings or rah-rah speech. Playing the game was like therapy for many of the players, giving them a chance to get back to something they loved, and doing it for a greater cause. We won the ...

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