Let It Go

"Let it go!"

Usually when someone tell us this, it is somewhat annoying - as speaks to something we desperately want to hold onto if even it happened years ago.

photo AP - Elise

photo AP - Elise

All Pro NFL cornerback Rod Woodson, pictured above, has not forgotten a referee's call from January 19, 2002.  At the time, Woodson was a Raiders' cornerback, playing an AFC playoff game, against Tom Brady and the New Englad Patriots. Late in the game, Woodson blitzed Brady and forced a fumble which the Raiders then recovered.  

The referee initially called this a fumble.  

But then, upon further review, the ref determined it was an incomplete forward pass under the "Tuck Rule," and thus the Patriots still had the ball. Patriots went on to win the game, and later advanced to the Super Bowl which they won.  Since then, Brady has won two more Super Bowls.  This play, in Woodsons' mind was a turning point in Brady's career.

This weekend, Woodson told a reporter, "Lets get this out of the way. If they (the refs) make the correct call, which they did at first, and then they overturned it, this 18 (playoff wins) that Tom Brady has, it never happened."  Woodson went on, "Tom Brady owes me his house...Because they overturned that call. Tom, come on now, fess up, it was a fumble. It's still a fumble."

Woodson was, of course, joking in this riff.  And let's be clear.  Woodson has been a top, hungry, vital player in the league through out his entire career.  

But he's obviously still not letting this Tuck go.  Because he's still talking about it.

We all do this - athletes and coaches and fans, alike.  

Look, I am still trying to let go of a Super Bowl defeat that happened over thirty years ago.

There must be something pleasurable about stewing and brewing, about keeping the fire burning for something that happened long ago, about never forgetting or moving on, about rubbing salt into the wound.  

It can be a key motivating factor in competition.  

But at some point, that brewing wears a groove in your mind. And it starts to sound like a scratch in a vinyl record that the needle keeps tripping on.  One that you don't get up to fix.  You just let it skip over and over and over.

In sanskrit, this repetitive mental churning is called Chitta Vritti.  

Chitta is mind - vritta is turnings.

The practice of yoga is to still, to quiet, the turnings of the mind. 

The Tuck Rule has since been removed from the NFL rule book. 

But in the heart of Oakland fans, and many others, the injustices of the Tuck Rule remain alive today.   

The Chitta keeps turning…