Just Let Me -- G -- Indoctrinate You!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear America,

Not everybody gets a trophy.

At least, that's the way it used to be here in America.

We were taught at a very young age that in order to get anywhere in this world, it would take work.  Hard work.  And perhaps a little sacrifice.

And even when we didn't win, get the job, defeat the other team, get the girl, bring home the contract, or have a good day -- we still kept our chin up.  We persevered; we went the extra mile -- we went over the mountain -- we made it to the other side and then made some lemonade.

Now, my favorite football star of all time has been catching alot of flack from the blogosphere and sports fanatics with regards to his behaviour on Sunday.  In case you missed it, our dear Peyton walked off the field in a huff, head down and not making nice with anyone. He made absolutely no effort whatsoever to prance on over to the other side as if nothing ever happened; not hiding a thing for all the world to see.

Oh, later in the day he took in the press conference and made very public, finally, a few conciliatory remarks to the Saints; he personally congratulated Drew Brees with a phone call; and Drew had nothing but good things to say about the Manning as well.  Everyone came to grips with their own reality in time and in their own way; when some people win, some people gotta lose, and that's all there is to it.

Oh, but the way people carried on about Peyton  -- the "lack of sportsmanship,"  the "lack of respect," the "show of an arrogant quarterback gone bad"...may this be a lesson to kids everywhere and often, they said.

What has happened here in America? 

If you bear with G just a bit, somehow I believe not showing our true feelings when we lose is all a part of this underlying progressive direction our country is heading. This new fab philosophy, that happens to be a century old, cutting into the natural ingenuity and drive that has made this nation the greatest collection of people that has ever lived is beginning to permeate into the American mindset -- that we must conform, follow along, not stand out, stifle our winning spirit, be told what is appropriate behavior, how much is too much, and what is ours, yours or the governments to use at will. 

Peyton wanted to win -- and he didn't. He may be one of the greatest quarterbacks of our day, but he still has feelings, he is still only human.  Peyton wanted to win and made no excuses about that as he hung his head down low and walked off the field.  He is a competitor -- and probably harder on himself than all of his teammates put together.  He is the fearless leader of the entire team -- and while expecting only the best of himself, he was unable to meet those demands with a winning performance along with it's hard earned triumphant outcome.  AND he didn't feel like hiding it either.

Obama doesn't "begrudge" a few Wall Street bankers getting obscene bonuses for creating wealth for their companies by amassing crazy profits -- referring to the Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, and the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, the two combined raking in 23 million dollars in stock bonuses -- with certain restrictions, of course.  This coming from the Oval Office and according to an interview with Bloomberg Business Week,  the President said:

“an extraordinary amount of money...there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well...”

“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen... I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”
Peyton was quarterbacking big bonuses for his team, too -- and he didn't make it happen.  It was a loss he felt not only for himself, but for the whole franchise.  He wasn't ready in that moment to pretend that it didn't matter, when for all intents and purposes it was everything he ever wanted -- for his teammates, for the owners, for the city of Indy and all it's fans.  He let himself down and he let it show.  Big deal; for he was just keeping it real.

Isn't that what we want from our home team anyway? 

Isn't this thirst for bringing home the win every time exactly what we expect from our players, as fans?  

Printed in locker rooms everywhere is there 'hey, if we win we win, if we don't, we don't?'

Where's the fight? Where's the will?  Where's the come hell or high water, yes we can and we won't take no for an answer in that  -- and after all that -- when faced with a shining blow, how is it possible to go, oh hey, good game? 

I'm so glad our President Obama went there with his analogy on Wall Street, as this country's love of baseball, football, all sports, most certainly exemplifies the American spirit inside us.  We win some and lose some every day.

But today, our kids are finding out that even with a loss comes a trophy.  We can't even have gold medal ceremonies for excellent readers, because the kids that don't do the required reading will stand out, get there feelings hurt.  We can't let one team grab the gold without the other team waiting to see what they get -- just for showing up. 

In a manner of speaking all the way around, we take the losing team out for ice cream while the winning team gets to buy -- that's where we're at these days.

Where is the will to climb out of the rough in that, make first down on 4th and inches, and spring the on-side kick at the start of second half as if you got nothing to lose? 

Where is the determination to work harder, play smarter, build stronger, and maybe next time bring home the victory?  The whole notion of the underdog breaking all odds comes from exactly this -- in order to be considered the underdog in the first place, it must come from a place of loss -- and a lot of them, continuously, unabashedly in your face defeats time after time after time...let me hear you say LOSER!
holding the customary fingers up in the air in the sorry ass-ed "L" position. 

The Saints, in all their years as a franchise, had never gone to the big show. Never.   

How much did that trophy finally mean to the team and to the heart of Louisiana, New Orleans?  How huge was the victory -- how sweet the success -- how deserving -- and how down in the bayou good did it feel to witness such a thing right before our very eyes?
How can you begrudge one teams outright success over another?  How can you put a value to the accomplishment or to it's affects on a city, a franchise, a company in the business of selling the home team and all that it encompasses...including, the outreach, the monies, the community support from each and every player that comes along free of charge.  Thanks to the million dollar salaries, fame and fortune trickles down and helps people back up from the brink. (see also the NFL and the United Way)
Can a president put a dollar sign in front of some body's worth to a company -- whether it is Wall Street, Main Street or Bourbon Street?   I think not; a president doesn't belong anywhere on that field of play.
And this is precisely why America is going through such hard times;  the administrations of the last forty years have tried to micro-manage the American franchise -- trying to do too much for people who don't deserve it -- trying to shelter us from losses that would ultimately only teach us to buck up, buttercup all on our own -- trying to take profits from one team's win and redistribute to the rest of the losers (jeopardizing future seasons for everyone) -- and ultimately disenfranchising future generations by gridlocking them into huge debt along with not enough of the market share to keep up, with teams wrecked by lack of motivation or reason to try harder, as what's the use -- even if I make it big, I don't get to keep it.
You are so right, Mr. President, we shouldn't begrudge success and wealth; does thou shalt not covet other people's things ring any bells?
As the American standard proves time and time again, when unpunished and left free to do as we please, we give back -- and then some.  When the "free-market" is truly left free, when the very idea of creating "success and wealth" is applauded --  growth naturally and exponentially and magically multiplies.
It takes people with a level of high expectation to get that; it takes people who hate to lose -- people who make no apologies for showing 106 million viewers that they feel pretty darn bad when they do.
Peyton didn't take home the trophy and, make no mistake, he feels pretty darn bad about it.  That is why he is a franchise player for the Indianapolis Colts -- and amongst the highest paid athletes of our day.  The Colts own him.  They made him a franchise player for his work ethic, his drive, his composure, his expertise, his skills, his maturity, his allegiance, his ability to create success and wealth for an entire team -- and you better believe, every bit of his team spirit and sportsmanship.  How do I know?  We watched it walk off the field in defeat on Sunday.
No matter what the equation, no matter who's dat or who's not, our free market works best when people are actually free to do as we so please.  And no matter how much we try to massage the numbers, tweak the stats, or spend our way out in record breaking dollars in order to hold onto something that is not meant to be and meant to be free -- all we will ever take home will be a loss.
God Bless Football
and God Bless the United States of America.
Make it a Good Day, G

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