High in the upper reaches of the Yellow River Valley in China are rapids that violently cut through the mountains, blocking anything in their path from crossing the river. One day, a carp defied the odds, swimming as hard as it could to cross the rapids, never surrendering until it reached the other side. As a reward for its perseverance, the gods transformed it into a mighty dragon and welcomed it to heaven. To this day, in China someone who perseveres and prevails despite the odds is said to “climb the dragon’s gate.” Naturally, this myth reminds me of UMass football — we’ve been up against it for years now, and pretty much every obstacle a team can face has been thrown in our path, but every game is a chance to persevere and show what we can do. The naysayers want us to fail, they want to say “I told you so” when we fall short, but we are like the carp of the Chinese myth. We may be small, we may have the deck stacked against us but we have heart and heart is what truly matters. Heart is what brings victory to those who are willing to give everything they have to achieve their goals. Let’s climb the dragon’s gate together, UMass, and bring home a victory tomorrow!