Posts Tagged ‘loyalty’

Idle Hobby

30 May 2010

Dear J-

Marian Hossa is playing for the Stanley Cup for the third straight season; whether or not the third time’s a charm for him has yet to be seen, but he’s off to a decent start for a guy who’s played the maximum number of games three years running — no one’s questioning his legs. The only questions may be about his mercenary nature — it’s his third team in three years. If you’re also a Survivor fan, you know about the self-proclaimed greatest player ever, Russell. He calls himself that because he’s gotten to the final pool, where a jury of his peers selects the winner, two seasons in a row. To get there he scrambles and stabs and generally plays a scorched-earth game that leaves no room for sympathetic peers who’d vote for him — indeed, he was shut out of the votes this last go-round.

There’s no denying that Russell is a canny player who can outplay his peers in straight-up competition, but doing it in a way that leaves people smiling, not scowling — that’s the real trick. It’s not easy to compete at the highest level, but there’s a skillful way to do it versus blundering your way through like a rhino. It’s impossible for me to say if Marian Hossa’s teammates feel the same way — such is the nature of free agency and modern sports that you can’t exactly fault a professional athlete for seeking what works best for their professional career — but I can certainly see how they might feel betrayed if he keeps moving on year after year in his quest to finally hoist a Cup. If karma is any indication (or at least precedent) then I’d say the Flyers have a Cinderella date with destiny this year.

It’s funny that we’d even try to impose the same values we carry in life on games — television reality shows or athletic contests. There’s a whole different set of rules that govern there, and we can’t hope to understand it in a vacuum; on the other hand, trying to understand those things doesn’t make much sense, does it? Devoting an iota of time to trying to comprehend the essentially absurd is a foolish reaction, isn’t it? We all honestly have better things to do, but we also can’t be doing those things all the time — it’s why there’s going to be an audience who wants to know Marian Hossa’s motivations, who understand the significance of Ceti Alpha V, folks who care whether you shoot at f/1.4 or not.

Mike

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Spooky Thoughts

5 November 2008

Dear J-

Spent the dark time of the day waiting for things to get light; spent the light of the day indoors under the sickly glow of a monitor and fluorescent lights.  We hear about justice and think that the system will serve us well when we need it, but can we choose our terms and conditions as needed?  Drive the point home; ask for what you need and don’t complain about the luxuries.  Are we better off today than we were yesterday?

Answers necessarily vary by person and by degrees.  How deep is your committment to sacrifice?  How much can we truly ask of each other?  Who leads the charge?  It’s not a question of leadership through example — not everyone’s inspired in the same way — so how do you demonstrate your loyalty, how do you demand your rewards?  When you daydreamed of working while in school, is it everything you thought it would be?

I scare myself when I hear some of the words coming out of my mouth; there’s a level of competence I can’t possibly be at, and yet here I go trying to show other people how to get things done, teaching the same people who two years ago were teaching me.  If there is nothing more universal, I believe that respect begets respect; the more flippantly you treat a question, the less believable your answer.  Tonight the glow on the western horizon stays low over cobalt waters; no fog, no low clouds to kiss the hills, clarity in every sight and word and deed indeed.

Mike