The WhoHa which surrounds the London Olympics has forced Joan and me to go fishing in George’s Bay. We hear the salmon are running and we will certainly be more entertained than we are from the Super Hype screeched at us by wildly exaggerating sports announcers telling us ad naseum that ‘Charlie Blogs’ is the best swimmer/runner/wrestler in the history of the world. Hungry for sensation, TV stations are sneaking ancient events from former Olympic Games. The ads show competitors standing with gold medals around their necks as they grin and gesture brainlessly.
It was worst said (and perhaps the most ignorant statement made in the history of the world) by the American football coach of the Green Bay Packers, Vince Lombardi. His alleged quote is, “Winning isn’t everything. It is the ONLY thing.”
GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! announcers shriek and their crescendo dies to a murmur when the anointed athlete only achieves second place. What a disgusting parody of humanity they force upon the viewers. People are better than robots digitally dancing to dandy jingles.
I had a sports coach, almost 65 years ago. His name was Henry Chapman. He liked to win as we all did. For Henry, winning was not the only thing. With hard work and loads of luck I learned to throw the discus. I guess I was good…at least better than many other teen age young men. Henry was proud of me when I took first place in the district track meet and even more proud when, at the regionals, I placed for the Minnesota State Track Meet. The contest was in the University Stadium which seated sixty thousand people.
I was crushed. I placed fourth or possibly fifth. Henry came up to me after my vaunted failure and said, “Congratulations Buck, you are the fourth best discus thrower in the state of Minnesota. I am proud of you!”
Many decades later it is still possible to say, “Thanks Coach”. You see, Henry taught me the living lesson of playing the game, trying to win and moving on with satisfaction and not worry about being a hero which I never really was anyhow.
Gold? Sometimes. Silver? Sometimes. Bronze? Sometimes. Really, the human condition is more like…well, forget the philosophy, I am going fishing. The salmon are running…and so am I.