The Basics And The Trick Play

Sometimes as a writer, it’s fun to practice the basics of your craft by connecting unlikely dots that are tricky to link together. Today is one of those days.

It’s Sunday, which in our home usually includes football and puttering with household chores. In both of those arenas, it’s usually about the basics. But sometimes, it calls for a trick play.

Today, on and off the football field, I’ve seen the need for both.

The Seahawks won their game, and winning was mostly about the basics. They focused on the run game and won the turnover battle. After a slow start to their season, they are back to the basics, and it is paying off.

RB Chris Carson

RB Chris Carson

The toilet in our guest bathroom is leaking, and Tom decided to tackle the job today. It doesn’t get much more basic than a toilet.

Tom-the-Plumber tackles the basics.

Tom-the-Plumber tackles the basics.

Late in the Seahawks game, with a two-possession lead, they found themselves in a fourth down situation deep in their own end zone, and were lined up to punt. Seattle’s punter, Michael Dickson, received the snap, appeared to be about to kick, and then tucked the ball in close and sprinted to a first down. While they probably would have won the game without the trick play, it bought them time and a new set of downs. The interesting thing about this trick play is that it wasn’t actually called in the way it played out from the sidelines. Dickson was the only one who saw the opportunity to make it happen, took a chance, and made the play. It was risky. It was fun. It worked.

They didn’t win the game by relying on trick plays. But once the basics are attended to, something creative can emerge.


As it turned out, the replacement part Tom purchased for the toilet was the wrong size. In order to keep it in working order until he can get the appropriate parts, he needed to get creative. Plumber’s Putty to the rescue.


In life and on the football field, knowing, mastering, and applying the basics are keys to success.

Trick plays come in handy too.