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How Sports Imitates Life

Britain Open Golf
I have learned a few things about life over my long year of existence and I am only too proud to share them, as I have also realized that a few people could learn a few things from me. My father who was a wise man and my favorite philosopher, always tell me that sports tell the story of life, but its only in my later years, that I was able to realize this whole notion.

Which leads me to a few examples of sport imitating life over the last few days. There was the historic run at the British Open for Tom Watson who came up short, and the likely, but unlikely winner Stewart Cink, who won his first major. There was also the buzzing news about world’s number one golfer Tiger Woods, missing the cut for the firs time in his professional life. For Tom Watson, his rally over three days of the tournament was nothing short of excitement. This humble man with that killer smile, who was a force to reckon with in his early days, gave 59-year olds around the globe, a fresh new look on life, whether they were golfers or not.

But Stewart Cink, who had been knocking for sometime now, seized the moment after not even being on the leader board for the entire week. Cink grabbed the opportunity when Watson missed his putt, challenging Watson in the playoff to earn his very first British Open. So much could be said about resilience in Watson’s case and in Cink’s case, it could be said that he was ready when opportunity knocked. Either way no one can say that both men were not successful, even though Mr. Cink was the titleholder.

We move on the NBA free agency and Lamar Odom, who earlier last week was seemingly, from all reports, returning to the Los Angeles Lakers. Odom was a sure fire bet to return to the Lakers, after all, he was a key part of the Lakers’ success in the NBA Finals, and Trevor Ariza did moved on to the Rockets. Later in the week, we learned that the Lakers’ deal was off the table and that neither Miami Heat nor the Dallas Maverick was able to match what the Lakers were offering. So the last I heard was that Odom was making phone calls to Lakers, seeking to reopen the talks, in an effort to salvage the offer.

What could we learn from this? As an agent, the first lesson you learn, it’s always best to do comparison shop, before you commit your client to a deal, because if you walk away from money, there is always someone out there who will take it. Chances are also; the terms by which you accept to reopen a deal might be one you live to regret. Note to self: “never go back on your vomit” – words from my wise dad.

Moving on to Brett Favre, with his eternal decision of NFL R&R. Where I come from “R&R” stands for rest and relaxation, and although I have not consummated the skill to either of the two at my tender age – but I am not a pro football quarterback.

In the case of Brett Favre, R&R for him means retire and return. A concept that I have not been able to understand. But after the last few weeks of back and forth with Favre, the Vikings and the sports media. I can tell you what life lesson there is to garner from this one – always leave the room when you still have an audience. For me, I honestly think, Brett should be like Tony Dungy, who left while the going was good, that’s if he want to protect the integrity of his legacy.

And finally, there is the issue of Mike Vick. Enough has been said and written about Vick and the hideous crimes he committed with respect to the dog-fighting ring. But Vick was sentenced by a judge and as his sentence ends today. We can only hope the ordeal that he has faced over these few months has taught him some lessons in life.

As to what will happen with his future, one will never know, as he is scheduled to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sometime here in the near future. Mr. Goodell who has been commended and critized for the approach that he is taking with players’ conduct, should take a step back and look at how sports imitates life. Goodell and Vick should both realize how the decisions they make can hurt or improve moral for the least among us. This is a decision that Vick has to take serious as it could be the beginning or ending of his life as a pro-athlete and Goodell needs to realize that the American dream is most times about second chances.

So today, as I wrap up this blog post, I would hope that every reader sees where I am coming from with this story idea. I am a big gunner for the underdog, and hopes that even the prized fighter, will learn through his successes or failures. Sports fan or not, life is always big or small; it depends on how you see your road ahead. So, stop, take a look, learn, feel, and celebrate you wins as well as your losses.

  1. theblake
    July 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    This was an excellent read. Thank you!

    I watched the entire British Open and was completely amazed at Watson’s performance. Though the scoreboard didn’t show it, he’s still the biggest winner of all.

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