Patience Leads to the Catch of a Lifetime and a Super Bowl Ring.

An article in last week’s NY Times caught our attention: Manningham’s Patience Is Rewarded in Critical Catch. And since patience is a virtue (you’ve heard that before!) we had to take the opportunity to share another example of how you too can achieve a Victory via Virtues!

Excerpts from the NY Times article by GREG BISHOP
Published: February 6, 2012

Mario Manningham, wide receiver for the New York Giants. Photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images

Mario Manningham, wide receiver for the New York Giants, was not having the best year. He even earned a reputation for bobbling the ball. Who would blame his quarterback for not looking to pass him the ball first? Especially since two other receivers, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, were having a banner year.

There were times during the season when Mario was extremely frustrated. His mother told him: “Bite your tongue. Be patient. The ball will come to you.”

His mother told Mario he needed to be patient. His mother was right.

“What” is Patience? (from The Family Virtues Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin.)

Patience is quiet hope and expectation based on trust that, in the end, everything will be all right. Patience means waiting. It is enduring a delay or troublesome situation without complaining. It means having self-control because you can’t control the way someone else is acting or when things don’t go planned.

All through the year Mario kept his self-control. He stayed calm and tolerant when difficult things happened on the field.

Whenever he became impatient he would recall a catch he made in high school, where the ball seemed 5, maybe 10 feet beyond him, and he somehow zoomed into place as if playing in fast-forward. Mario knew then that some day he would be in the NFL, and that some day he would make a miraculous catch. He also knew he would have to train for years. Patience is persevering––sticking with something for as long as it takes, When you are patient, you know things take time, just as a seed will someday grow into a flower or a fruit-bearing tree.

Patience is a commitment to the future. It is doing something now so that later something good will happen. It is also tolerating all the things necessary to make it happen. Patience is seeing the end in the beginning––doing what you can and then calmly waiting, with trust that the results will come.

After years of practice, Mario made it to the NFL. Even after making it to the pros, he still had to practice patience. As his mother said, “The ball will come to you.”

So it was in the fourth quarter with 3 minutes 46 seconds remaining in the biggest game of the year, the Super Bowl. They were trailing, 17-15. The New England Patriots planned to cover Mario with a single defender, allocating resources to stop the other Giants receivers instead. This was Mario’s opportunity. His patience was about to pay off. “Step up,” he told himself. “Dig deep.

His quarterback Eli Manning took the snap on first down from the shotgun. Mario started inside and worked outside, streaking up the left sideline. The ball arched high, went long and arrived over his shoulder, he told himself to “freeze your feet,” and he stomped them at the turf, conscious of the out-of-bounds line and his position relative to it. His phenomenal catch began an 88-yard drive and the Giants won the Super Bowl, 21-17.

Mario Manningham’s epic sideline catch in Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo credit: Heinz Kluetmeier/SI)

It had been a long, challenging year for Mario, but his patience paid off with a Super Bowl ring.

Why Practice Patience?

Without patience people want everything now. They have trouble doing things now which will have a result later, such as a project that takes a lot of work or going to school so that someday they can become a doctor or an artist or an engineer. Or, like Mario, becoming a professional football player.

Without patience people can’t stand to wait for anyone and fuss the whole time, which makes them and everyone more upset. When people are impatient, they act mad and irritable when things don’t go their way or other people make mistakes.

When people are patient, they don’t whine, complain, or criticize. They forgive other people and themselves. They make the world a kind and gentle place––yes, even a six foot tall, 184 pound football player like Mario Manningham can be gentle.

How Do You Practice Patience?

You practice patience by accepting things you cannot control. For example, even if you feel impatient, you act calm while waiting for someone who is late.

When you practice patience, you surrender to something that you have to endure, like an illness or injury that will last awhile, or even a handicap you may always have, instead of fighting it and getting mad about it.

Patience helps you stick to something you are trying to do, even when it gets difficult or tiresome. You persevere until it is finished, even if there is no reward for all your work until the very end. You are willing to set goals for your future, knowing that it is really worth the effort.

Patience is having goals and picturing the end in the beginning.

Mario Manningham’s goal was to become and professional football player. He would envision wearing a Super Bowl ring. With hard work, a loving, supportive mother and Patience, he achieved a Victory via Virtues!

You know you’re practicing patience when you…

  • Calmly tolerate a delay or confusion
  • Are willing to wait for things you want
  • Set goals and stick with them until they are completed
  • Do something now which will help you in the future
  • Accept things you cannot control. Remember, humor helps!
  • Are gentle with others when they make mistakes

You need more patience when you…

  • Think that everything you want should come right away
  • Figure that if something takes time it is not worth it
  • Get frustrated if things do not bear fruit right away
  • Do only things that have instant payoff
  • Are irritable with others when they make a mistake or keep you waiting

We know it’s not easy bringing out the best in ourselves, but all of us on the “V” Crew encourage you to practice the virtue of Patience. No matter how lofty your goals are, or how fantastic your dreams, we know that with a little effort (and patience of course) someday you will experience the satisfaction and benefits of making “the catch of a lifetime”.

Go to for creative, entertaining, and most importantly, useful virtues lessons to help you achieve “Victory via Virtues!” toward a higher standard of behavior.

1 thought on “Patience Leads to the Catch of a Lifetime and a Super Bowl Ring.

  1. “All we need is just a little patience.”

    So sang Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose on one of the top cuts from their album, GN’R Lies, which sold over five million copies in the United States alone.

    Many young people have looked up to Rose, who lived out his dream as a young rock and roll star before life, as it does, had a major role in bringing him back down to earth. My guess is that he would have some interesting comments today on the Patience cut, which was released in 1988.

    Check out this interview:

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