About Me

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Giving it away - off topic

This is not a contest, not a card related post at all. It involves sports, it will be a bit preachy.

With a few minutes to go in the Cards/Eagles game, it looked like the Eagles had made it all the way back. Up 25-24, the cards with the ball and having gained 6 yards in the half. The Cards had given up 19 unanswered points. They had given it their best shot. From 9-7 and given no chance, they had played their guts out and were about to come up short. I was about to start writing this post. Knowing now that they went on a drive, scored a touchdown, took the lead and won. Yes, I realize that was passing interference. It wasn't called, it should have been, none of that matters.

My point is this: Even if the Eagles would have won, it wouldn't have mattered. Even though the Cards gave up 19 points and they would have had no answer, it doesn't matter. The fact is, they didn't give it away. Warner played flawlessly, Edge did too. The Cards made few mistakes. The fumble of the INT. The fact is, they played hard, they played well.

What do I mean about giving it away? I don't mean McNabb, the man is 1-4 in NFC Championship games, but he played hard and played well. Do I mean Jake Delhomme that was picked 5 times? Suprisingly no. He had a bad game.

What I mean are people that are given a shot whether the earned it or not, and they screw it up because they didn't try, their ego gets the best of them, or they just don't care. People like TO come to mind. All of the talent in the world and can't shut the hell up long enough to just get it done. That is why sports is a microcosm of life. Trust me, ask any player whether they would give up their millions to have a super bowl title. They would probably all say yes.

Not Kurt Warner because he doesn't have to. Stock boy, Arena league, told he was washed up, tossed out like trash by the Rams. One question for the Rams: How do you like him now? Warner may seem like he has it all. But he went through many years of being told he wasn't good enough. Nothing like being told you are done at 32. Its because he never gave it away. He kept trying, putting everything he had into it. Check out the line: 21-28 279 yards 4 TD O INT with a 145 rating.

Why is this so important to me? I've been down this road. Back against the wall, no where to go, the stats said I was going to fail. Let me explain. I was born with little hearing, lower middle class. I went to public schools in poor areas. When I was 6 my teacher told my mom I was stupid, I read her lips, I know what she said.

When I was 9, things changed. I moved to another school that was testing me to see what classes to put me in. They didn't want to put me in regular classes because they weren't sure I could survive. A funny thing happened on the way to special ed. I demolished their tests, all of them. I scored so high that I had to be retested because the school thought it was a mistake. It wasn't.

Despair became confidence. I went on to cruise through middle school. Then I got to high school. I did terrible because I got arrogant. I could turn it on and off anytime I wanted. My first year of high school I had a 2.9 GPA. Lousy. I was giving it away and I knew it.

I got my stuff together and finished up strong. I rushed into college with a 3.8 my first year. Then I got lazy and arrogant again. I ended up with a 2.93 or something like that, not good. Did I mention i couldn't afford books? Yup I had to go at it with barrowed books, or no book at all. Crazy, but you do what you have to do. I did manage to take the LSAT up in morgantown WV on my way to pick up the keg for homecoming. I'm dead serious.

Luckily I got a good enough score to eek out admission to a law school. Except I tooled around for 3 years while I pulled myself together, working retail, being a complete meatball. I started law school, I partied hard but studied hard too. That netted me a 1.87 GPA. That crushed me but I didn't quit. I met with my professors, studied old tests and studied even harder. My second semest I ended up with a 1.78 GPA or 1.83 overall. Damn.

Did I give up? No. I took a summer writing class for people that failed Legal research and writing even though I passed that class and wasn't required to take the summer course. I came back the next semester on academic probation. I was .17 GPA points under what I needed to be to go onto the fourth semester. I had to get a GPA that was .5 above what I had gotten so far to continue. After finals, I hung around waiting for grades. After 3 weeks they showed up. 2.04 overall I had gotten a 2.47 that semester. Still crappy, but making the come back. This whole time people were getting kicked out left and right.

The next semester I was able to maintain my GPA and stay in business. There is one catch, even if you have the overall gpa to graduate, you still have to get a 2.3 over your last two semesters to graduate. SOunds easy, but many people failed. My school has a forced downward curve. I was scared to death. I was into this whole thing for 100k+. What the hell was I going to do if I failed?

I was able to meet that goal. The funny thing is that even if you graduate from law school, you still have to pass the Bar exam. I didn't have enough money to take the bar prep course, so I purchased the old prep books off ebay. I studied every night for two months. One other thing, students with my GPA pass the bar exam 1 out of 12 times. I couldn't afford to wait till February, or the cost of the test the second time for that matter.

I took the bar, it takes six weeks to get the results. I was out of money, I had a job that paid $10 an hour 20 hours a week. I had to pass. I did. Even if I would have failed I knew that I hadn't given it away. I studied all the time. Every day no matter what. I studied online, my books, my textbooks everything ( I could afford them this time, but only used ones that were one or two editions old). I did all that I could. If I would have failed it wouldn't have been effort. I could have looked myself in the mirror.

What does any of this mean? I know people, all the talent in the world, come from good families, never wanting for money, smart, but they just never get their shit together. Sad really. They wish they could be successful, they want to do well, but they can't leave those sirens behind, they crash on the rocks. I want to be cool, wear the best clothes, have the most friends. For some people it is so important that they fail out of school, and end up working a crappy job that they hate and broke as hell wondering how they got there. I know them, you know them. You don't have to be a doctor, lawyer, or professional athlete to be a success. You set your goal and do your best to achieve it. You face failure and you overcome, if not, you get back up and try again. Some people learn this too late. Its easier to quit, admit defeat and never try again. Find all the excuses they can, its always someone elses fault, not theirs.

Warner could have listened to his critics. He could have quit and kept stocking shelves, but no. It wasn't good enough. That would have been the easy choice, but he took adantage of his opportunities.

Even if the Cards would have lost, he tried. Warner would have been crucified if the Cards would have lost.

McNabb lost, he tried. As I said, he is 1-4 in NFC Championship games, but he plays hard, he tried. Some people will call him a loser. Call him a bum if you like, but he didn't give it away and that's all we can ask of others and ourselves.

It either makes sense or it doesn't.


Chris S said...

Are you from WVU ?? Did you live in Morgantown. I grew up in WV and was a long time season ticket holder. Just curious, will read the rest of your post but had to comment


stusigpi said...

I went to Salem-Teikyo University in Salem, WV. I did spend quite a bit of time up in Morgantown at Speedy's and Shooter's. I played paintball with the WVU mens basketball team that year they were super good in the 90's. I was there 94-98.