On the first Monday in April, the President of the United States rolled some eggs and then headed cross town to lob a baseball; a fallen "hero" of the links got back to business and even hugged some fans; a career high school softball coach in New Jersey logged a milestone victory; an NFL quarterback wandered a few hundred miles south to give a star-crossed team yet another shot at greatness; and yes, there was the shot in Indianapolis that almost went in. A little something for everyone, and that is why we love sports.
Would the day have been perfect if Tiger said he was leaving Elin, the Nats actually won their opener, and Butler's Gordon Hayward's shot banked in from halfcourt? Maybe.
However the one thing that makes sports such real life drama is that there are always winners and losers, and just like in life, the good guys, or who we perceive to be good guys don't always have to win to set the example. Sometimes we learn more from just coming up short than for when we see the glorious triumph. Well maybe anyway.
Maybe that's what the Washington Redskins and Donovan McNabb will learn together now -- that the disappointment in loss can eventually make us be better at what we do. Maybe that's what we will find out about Tiger this weekend as he rounds Amen Corner and heads for home at The Masters -- that he is really humbled by the public spectacle he has gone through and now wants to be a better father, a better husband and a better role model. Maybe. Maybe one of those kids on the White House lawn Monday will be inspired enough by the greatness of the office to someday get involved in helping others in their community, and that the talk of battling childhood obesity will have resonated with the parents there so that they do make sure their kids eat well and exercise and follow the Michelle Obama's edict to "move" and help eradicate the plague of complacency and poor habits that kids have today. Maybe.
Maybe when the student-athletes at both Duke and Butler go back to class and into the off-season they will be able to tell the story of the greatness of just being involved in an epic night in Indianapolis and what they learned from both winning and losing, and from their opponents and from the lives they touched and can use that experience to make them not better basketball players but better, more thoughtful people in general. Maybe.
As far as the President goes, maybe his recent one on one on the court with Clark Kellogg or his first pitch Monday will help reconnect him and his plans to that casual fan that he courted so carefully during his campaign, that casual fan, that everyman, which identified more with the new candidate running on hope than he or she did for the establishment. That person who was just like us, understood our struggles and liked to mix it up with friends, or sit down and watch a game and talk sports around the water cooler. That person who many think has gone to Washington and hasn't been able to carry through on what was promised yet. Maybe the President can use the excitement and the possibilities, and even the failures, of what we have seen in sport the last few weeks to reconnect as well. Maybe.
Then there is Jim Dransfield, the girls softball coach at West Milford High School in New Jersey. On Monday, Dransfield became the first softball coach in several counties to log 500 career wins. He did it with little fanfare, and was rewarded with a trophy, a game ball, and another bus ride across the highways of America's most densely populated state. He does it because he loves coaching and mentoring young people, and has seen the value over time that the life lessons of sport can teach everyone, both in winning and losing. Maybe just maybe, we can also have more Jim Dransfield's, and be able to push their success as much as we enjoy following the media car wreck of Tiger Woods' personal life. Maybe.
So maybe Monday was a day like few others for sport of every level, and across every boundary, for fans in the States. Maybe we can learn from the lessons of success and failure, and maybe the actions of those on the biggest stages can resonate down and have a positive effect on those dealing with the every day. Maybe the first Monday in April is the day we can point to where we all learned from sport in some way, and can use those examples in our everyday life.
Maybe that's why we love sport? Ya think?
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