The entire football team, both current and present, at Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School, or any team or player dealing with a losing streak, needs to consider Jason Garrett as they go through a season.
There is always value in continuing to play, even if the wins aren’t coming.
Neither the mere topic of the losing streak in question, or questions about it, are favorites for Garrett, mostly because he is all too familiar with the pain associated with it.
We’re not talking about the seven-game losing streak he went through with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015. Losing seven straight is an infant flea compared to the adult gorilla that both he and his family once experienced.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
It’s the type of losing streak that stay with you for the rest of time. The type of losing streak that can define you, both bad and good.
It’s the type of unfortunate streak that the good people of Diamond Hill-Jarvis can relate.
Their varsity program has lost 77 straight games.
Garrett, and his entire family, were part of a 44-game losing streak in college at Columbia; at the time, it was the second-longest streak in NCAA history.
“That had been going on for a while; I was a redshirt,” he said. “It was a long streak and we lost a lot of games. We were trying to reverse the fortunes of Columbia football.”
If you’re expecting, or wanting, Garrett to reflect on such a bad time in the long football legacy of the Garrett family, don’t bother. These were not good times, and he’s not yearning to recount them.
In 1985, Jason was a redshirt player for his late father, Jim Garrett, who was hired as head coach at Columbia University after the ‘84 season.
Jason was all set to play with his brothers Judd and John at Columbia for their dad.
Jason never played for Columbia, and his father was never credited with a win; Columbia was 0-10 in 1985. He resigned shortly after the season ended.
The players felt Jim was needlessly pushed out, and, according to The New York Times, actually voted 54-9 to protest the athletic department to retain him as coach.
After it was announced his dad was leaving, Jason told the school’s student newspaper, The Columbia Daily Spectator, “That a quality football isn’t primary in (the administration’s) minds. That’s their choice.”
Seldom has Jason Garrett ever been more publicly critical of ... well, anything.
Not long after his dad left, Jason transferred to Princeton where he became the starting quarterback.
Columbia would not win a game until Oct. 8, 1988. The Lions defeated, of course, Jason’s Princeton Tigers, 16-13.
Decades later, the hurt of his dad being forced out and all of losses lessened, he can reflect on all of it knowing it all made a difference.
Any player, be they on Diamond Hill-Jarvis or another team struggling to win, Garrett’s message is simple:
“Keep playing. Anybody who has been involved in those (losing streaks), there are great life lessons in there about persistence and dealing with adversity,” he said. “If they handle it the right away, they will benefit from those experiences for the rest of their lives in whatever field they go into.