You Have To Know When It’s Time To Punt

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You Have To Know When It's Time To Punt

There are certain situations in life that are just unwinnable: your friend has an awful significant other, internet arguments and the last level in the Sega Genesis “Jurassic Park” game. Situations such as these are a part of life and are unavoidable. As I’ve gotten to the ripe age of 27, there seems to be truth in regards to said situations: when it’s 4th and long, it is time to punt.

Unlike in Madden or that crazy coach that goes for every 4th down (RIP NCAA based football games), going for it on 4th and 7 from your own 35 is never a good idea. We aren’t in high school anymore, and life isn’t a game. The juice ain’t worth the squeeze.

What does it mean to punt? In this regard, it means to evaluate the situation, realize that your efforts are futile or it’s an unwinnable situation, and kick it away. Rather than rage quitting or throwing in the towel, you’re giving the predicament time to work itself out while hoping that your defense came to play. Eventually, you will get the ball back in some way, shape or form and pray that your offense executes a little better in the next set of downs.

For me, it happened with a guy that was my best friend in college. I was his Best Man in his wedding. He married a girl (she’s a legit 9+) that cheated on him with Seth Rogan’s hairier, fatter ginger brother with a Minotaur nose ring. We were already very close before this particular unfortunate occasion, but this high level treason and ensuing fallout was what made us best friends.

I remember it like it was yesterday, finding out and buying a bottle of Gentleman Jack. We crushed the thing together. It was a nightmare to say the least. When she came crawling back, he took her back against our advice. The wedding was beautiful, and I nailed the Best Man speech, but there was a lingering air of awkwardness because everyone in attendance knew the deal. Since being married, I’ve seen him three times and we’ve talked maybe five times on the phone. I’ll call and get no response, but if I’m lucky I’ll receive a text a few days later.

At a certain point, I realized, “Why do I care?” We were great friends and clicked immediately even before she cheated on him. We would spend every day together with our group of friends and when we said our goodbyes, we vowed to keep in touch. I held up my end, but I think the knowledge that our friends had about their less than savory union coupled with the fact his wife hates all of us has given him the tough choice between his friends or his wife.

Ron White once said, “You can’t fix stupid”. Sure, every guy knows the mantra “bros before hos,” but how many of you know people/friends/family that married a controlling guy/girl? The ones who have to ask for permission and have to do some sort of chore or penance for having some “guy” or “girl” time. It’s no way to live.

Everyone reaches a threshold where enough is enough. You can only lead a horse to water so many times before your give-a-fuckometer runs out of batteries. I’ve found that the less you give a shit, the happier you’ll be.

I don’t know if he and I will ever rekindle our friendship. It used to bother me a lot and I’d get fired up about it when talking to our mutual friends. So I did the only thing I could do: I punted the situation away. That’s the point of punting. Let your defense do the work. Life is a long game, and you’ll get the ball back possibly with even better field position. Hopefully, there’s enough time on the clock to run it into the end zone.

Image via Shutterstock

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