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When The Game Ends But You Aren’t Sure Who Won

August 30, 2018

My boys had two sporting events this week. One was a Sophomore football game in Pleasant Grove. The other was a Cross Country meet in Salt Lake City.

The football game was today. My son plays cornerback. The other team ran all their plays away from him today. Considering there’s been a week worth of tape to watch, I told him that’s a good sign. The game ended 48 to 13 in favor of the home team. As we filed out of the stadium to wait for the boys to come out of the locker room, several of us parents talked about the dominance of our boys’ sophomore team. In fact, I learned that high school, at least at the sophomore level, has a mercy rule. The clock ran without interruption for the last 10 minutes.

We knew who won.

Yesterday we were at a Cross Country meet for another son. If you’ve ever seen the movie Mcfarland USA, it gives a pretty good idea of what a cross country meet is like. The entire team runs the 3 mile course. (My son pointed out it was 3 point two miles.)

The meet had five teams competing. Each team had about twenty to twenty five runners. So, the start saw a couple hundred boys start off. Over the course of 3 miles, the boys are going to each run at a slightly different pace.

We watched the start from a nearby hillside. We then walked up the hill to watch the boys run by at that part of the course. Then, we walked down toward the finish line. The boys ran three laps around the course before they peeled off at the last minute and sprinted toward the finish line. Or, sprinted as much as they could after running three miles.

We, cheered not just my son, but anyone running passed wearing a Pleasant Grove jersey. My son wasn’t the first PG runner and he wasn’t the last. He had a great kick at the end and finished very strong.

He came and found us after the race.

How’d you do?

I felt pretty good.

Do you know where you placed?

No, that will be posted tomorrow.

Do you know how well your team did?

No. They won’t have the points counted for awhile.

Well. . .see you at home.

He jogged back to where his team was gathering their gear to get on the bus. The match was over but he didn’t know how he’d done or how his team had done.

My job is to fix stuff that breaks. The “stuff” I’m typically fixing are processes. Sometimes an outage call is over in less than an hour. Sometimes they last for many hours. But, at the end, I know that we are done and that everyone is back up and running.

I’m also responsible for helping to create our disaster recovery plan. Our DR plan, also called a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) describes the processes we would follow in the event of a disaster. We recently had an exercise where we chose a fictitious disaster and talked through how we would respond as a company and as individual departments.

It occured to me that football is like the outages I have to deal with on occasion. At the end, for better or for worse, it’s over and I “know the score.”

Our BCP is more like cross country. It’s really long and I’m not sure if we have it exactly right or not. I’m not sure of the score and we won’t know until long after we put the plan in place.

(Oh, and my son was 9th on his team and his team took 5th in the 5 team meet.)

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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