In the final analysis there is no way to sugar coat. The Broncos and by association their fans got the crap kicked out of them. It has been a long time if ever that a group has failed so miserably on the field of battle in front of 111 million people. Damage control? Impossible. We got beat every which way but loose. We stink. There, I feel better already.
I was reading an article a friend sent me on vulnerability and life. This was days before the game so don’t think I am being cheesy. The bottom line was twofold. First off, life is a battle or conflict. The streets are mean and sooner or later you are going to hurt or be hurt. You are exposed to the elements of some sort. As parents or guardians we try to shield our loved ones from the harsh realities of life. But in essence that is the beauty of life. You are going to win and you are going to lose.
Secondly as we grow older and fend for ourselves we become less human. We try to fabricate some crazy facade either by conduct or trappings. We put on airs. We have bravado. We construct a plan of life that is neither worthwhile nor genuine. We hide the real us. We are so afraid to be the true McCoy. We do not think about who we really are but who we think we should be. We are petrified that if we are open and yes vulnerable then nobody would love us. Interesting stuff.
We just had new bookcases put in. We have to fill them with something so I have gone to the trophy locker. Okay Kath, both our trophy lockers. As I put them up I noticed there were some wins and also a number of runner up silver pieces. At the time I am sure I thought it was the end of the world that I had lost. Choke artist. Bum. Never once did I think that I had come a long way and beaten a lot of people just to get to the finals.
Just by entering the tourney I was making myself vulnerable. But in the end I worried about what people would think if I wound up a loser. The sun got in my eyes. Someone yelled at the top of my backswing. Otherwise of course I would have prevailed. Dream on TTG.
Recently I have been involved in a tough situation. A close friend asked me to help out a fellow in distress. Hopefully I am not Simon Lagree but I had been down this particular roadway more than once in the past. I said no and was emphatic. I felt and still do that the person had to learn to stand on their own two feet. Sure it was going to be tough going but if not now, when. As I said, reality sucks. I may have lost a friend but it had to be.
The ramifications are considerable. We have just had a scandal relating to Air Force personnel who man the missile silos that are the last stop between us and Armageddon. They cheated on proficiency exams. The reasoning went from everyone was doing it to it was a boring and tedious job with no clear path to advancement. Ergo I can cheat. Excuse me?
There was a young man in Texas who was drunk and killed four people with his pickup truck. He got off with probation and no jail time after pleading not guilty. A psychologist called as an expert defense witness said the boy suffered from “affluenza,” growing up in a house where the parents were preoccupied with arguments that led to a divorce.The father “does not have relationships, he takes hostages,” and the mother was indulgent. “Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it” . The upshot of it all was that of course he was unable to discern between right and wrong. The judge agreed and the young man is doing rehab at a posh recovery center in California. I can’t make this stuff up.
The saddest part of all this is that there is a certain nobility to striving. If you haven’t done it then you don’t know. There are a myriad of lessons to be learned in defeat. Most of all there is a crazy rush when you are authentic and vulnerable. I guess when I put stuff down on paper it is the case. I try not to take myself too seriously but I try my best to be real. I try to let it hang out because it feels good to be me.
A couple of weeks ago Robert Gates came out with his book detailing his time as Secretary of Defense. I watched an hour long interview with Charlie Rose and I would recommend you looking it up. This guy spoke from the heart and pulled no punches. He was both critical and laudatory. Someone claimed it was therapy for him to get things off his chest. Others bespoke his breaking the rules in a “tell all” book so soon after leaving his post. I saw someone incredibly human who did not measure his responses and spoke from the heart. His disdain for politics and love of the men who served under him bring praises not criticism from me.
Today the Broncos clean out their lockers. The memories of this season will be bittersweet. But it goes beyond a football game. On the front page of the Post this morning there was article and poignant picture of a funeral for a county patrolman. He was killed on his motorcycle by an 84 year old who was passing a car after crossing a double white line. That’s where reality really sucks. The Broncos and your life? Live it, get over it and move on.
Ted The Great
Choking is a true psychological phenomenon. Professionals and amateurs alike have performed their golf swing thousands of time. But in competition the mind gets in overdrive. They miss a three foot putt. There are actual chemical reactions but the sum total is you think too much. You worry about the audience and how it will react. You worry about letting people down including yourself. You begin to have self doubt no matter how talented you are.
The sad and tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman points out an incredible divergence from who he was and who he thought he should be. This insistence on trying to supersede reality is soothed by drugs, sex, alcohol and food addictions. This is especially true among the young today. We accept and encourage this behavior although it truly is unreal.
Justice favors the wealthy and the famous. You see it time after time. Justin Bieber if he was Manuel Garcia would have been deported and put on the next flight to Honduras. If you can afford $600 an hour lawyers and expert testimony you can probably have your way in our courts system. This is not an indictment but an observation on our justice system. It is “blind” but in a different sense of the word.