It ain’t over until the fat lady sings. I’ve heard that phrase my entire life. Usually it’s accompanied with a slight laugh or a smile about the ridiculousness of the statement.

A football team that’s down by seven points with a few seconds remaining technically still has a chance to win. Most people comment in that situation that it would take a miracle. Miracles do happen though.

There are plenty of examples of teams that overcame great odds and large deficits to win the contest.

It’s about not giving up.

The latest phenom was 15-year old Coco Gauff who defied all odds at Wimbledon. She wasn’t supposed to beat five-time champion Venus Williams in the opening round, but she did. Then she wasn’t supposed to win the second round, but she came up triumphant. Gauff then found herself facing match point twice in the third round. Despite the naysayers thinking they could predict the future, she never gave up on herself and came back to win the match. All the while creating a fanfare for herself and earning a boatload of money in the process.

If she read what the oddsmakers put on her, she obviously didn’t let it affect her.

When the odds are against a player or team, it’s easy for them to hang their heads low and give up. When the fans start leaving the arena midway through the game, the players notice that. They usually follow suit and just try to get the game over with.

Sometimes it just takes one player who is playing with his heart to spark the comeback.

Once again, it’s about not giving up.

Baseball is one of the greatest examples of games not being over until the obligatory fat lady starts singing.

Most sports can hold the ball, run the clock down or play keep-away until the clock reads all zeroes. Baseball teams with a lead can’t do that. Regardless of how big of a lead a team may have, they have to keep throwing the ball to the other team. They have to continue to be better than the other team all the way until the end.

Another example is the great Olympian Jim Thorpe. In 1912, his shoes were stolen before he competed in the Olympics at Stockholm, Sweden. Kids nowadays would probably lose their mind if they had to wear the wrong shoes to play their games — even though I've seen kids on the basketball court wearing sandals when they were supposed to be doing basketball activities during the summer, which makes no sense.

Thorpe didn’t give up on the Olympics nor did he hang his head. The story goes that he found two different shoes in a trash can. He won two gold medals that day with two shoes that weren’t even the same size or color. Heaven forbid somebody today have to do that. The fashion statement alone would put somebody into a long depression during the day and age we live in.

The point is that no matter what happens, strive to achieve your goals. Every obstacle in the way is a learning experience and not an excuse to admit defeat.

Define yourself and never give up. Don’t wait for the fat lady to sing, you tell her when to sing.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer for the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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