Many people have commented and asked what the state champion Bowie basketball team’s motto “We Make Mission” means.
That it’s not grammatically correct. It does not make sense. Where does it come from?
I briefly mentioned the origins in a previous article, but the short version is that the phrase comes from the book, “Toughness” written by Jay Bilas.
For those who do not know, Jay Bilas is a longtime college basketball analyst for ESPN and former college basketball player under legendary coach Mike Krzyzewksi at Duke. The book is mainly about how to build physical and mental toughness not just in sports, but in life.
The passage the phrase comes up is a chapter where Bilas went to Camp Arifjan as a part of Operation Hardwood, an event organized by the USO in which college coaches visited military camps to coach servicemen.
While being shown around the camp, they coaches remarked a bank of flagpoles with flags of many different solid colors. They were informed that the different colors were code for the soldier’s heat orders, which let soldiers know how exactly how long and under what conditions they were allowed to work outside in the dessert.
The most severe order allowed soldiers to work only 10 minutes every hour outside. When asked how they ever got any work done, a soldier told them matter of fact, “Our job is to ‘make mission,’ sir,” he said. “We have brothers and sisters dying in Iraq, and they don’t get fifty minutes off every hour just because it’s hot. So we don’t take fifty minutes off. We make mission.”
They decided to make it their motto since the Alamodome, where the state championship tournament is hosted every year, is named after and is near the Alamo, which itself was a mission structure. They were making it their mission to get to the mission.
To read more, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.