We can’t all get a hit in the game of life

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Sports Editor

Here’s to all the misses in the world.

Maybe I ought to explain what I mean by a "miss".

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For every Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Nolan Ryan and even Brian Meadows, there are hundreds of thousands of people who will never get to experience what they have.

For every Tiger Woods, there is a player that, like Woods, devoted his entire early life and adulthood to becoming the best golfer, to reach a goal, to play on a pro golf tour.

But it didn’t happen.

Something happened during their life, early or late, that caused the game to

leave them behind. They just weren’t good enough to be a Tiger Woods.

The facts are that everyone can’t play in the NBA, or carry a football in the NFL, or fire a fastball in the Major Leagues. There’s only a select few in this life who have that opportunity.

So why do we, as individual adults and parents, encourage this type of fantasy in the minds of our children?

I mean we all did it, let’s face that right now. What man cannot remember tossing imaginary touchdowns to himself as a child and seeing themselves as football stars? What daughter did not imagine herself as a starlet on the Hollywood screen?

What I’m saying is our dreams are not based in reality. Even if you throw a tight spiral and have the brains like Einstein when it comes to the game of football, if you stand only 5-foot-8 and weigh 165 pounds odds are you’re not going to be playing professionally. If you’ve got a jump shot like Larry Bird, but you can’t handle the basketball worth squat then you probably won’t be hand delivered any shoe endorsements.

Yeah, yeah. I know there are exceptions to the rule. Look at Doug Flutie, the pint-sized quarterback from Boston College. And people could argue about Bird’s dribbling skills, yet he still became one of the top players in NBA history.

But that’s what they are: exceptions.

It’s nice for parents to believe that their children will grow up to be rich and famous and come back home to take care of them. Or at least send them a check.

But let’s leave the scouting to the professionals. Just because you say your son is a future pro baseball, football, or basketball star, certainly does not mean he

will become one.

Then again, who knows?

Michael Jordan wasn’t good enough to play on his high school team, but he redefined the game of basketball.


On second thought, maybe we’re all ‘misses with potential’.

You know, sort of like a baseball league of sluggers with only a few being able to get a hit in the batter’s box.

The problem is you’ve only got one swing to your name and after that you’re done for life. Fate’s the pitcher and he’s got a mean fastball and a flyout to center’s just not going to cut it.

Now. Get a good grip on your bat. Relax that stance. No need to try for the homerun; a ground ball single will do just fine.

Here’s the pitch.

Let’s see what you do with it.