Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Last Dance: The Most Important Lesson for Everyone Everywhere

Way back when (actually 22 years ago), I was, like many people from the Chicago area and, I guess, the world, watching the real time version of The Last Dance. It was well known that the Bulls were to be dismantled after the season was over, whether they won another championship or not. I have a lot to say about the documentary and also what it was like living through all that in real time, but I will save that for another day.

Three years ago,I wrote a post about Jerry Krause after he passed away. Yes, "the sleuth" really was responsible for putting together all of the Chicago Bulls championship teams (6 in 8 seasons) except for Michael Jordan, so give the man his due. However, he cannot escape the judgment of being one of the people primarily responsible for the dismantling of the Bulls team. I also hold Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner, mainly responsible. It was his team. He was Krause's boss and had the ability to make any final decisions. The way things evolved happened under his watch. I also hold some others responsible to some degree -- Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. But the point of this particular post is not to assign blame for the unnecessary demise of the champions. It is instead to focus on being at the top -- and what you sometimes fail to see and appreciate, or possibly even care about, due to shortsightedness. Seals and Crofts sang it best: We May Never Pass This Way Again.

My oldest daughter was born in 1992. As she was growing up, I wanted her to appreciate going to live pop concerts as much as I did. Well, you know what that means, right? In her formative years , I saw the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Aaron Carter ... I could tell you all about Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, ...

Why do I bring this up? I distinctly remember when these acts were on top. The world revolved around them. I know the story of the Backstreet Boys well enough to know how they were cheated by Lou Perlman. However, when they were on top, there was talk of their breaking up. When Britney Spears was still everywhere, screwy stuff started happening in her life. It seemed like no matter what, she would still be everywhere. Well ...

Being a lifelong Chicago Bears fan (pity me - yes), I remember that the Super Bowl BEFORE the Super Bowl Shuffle year featured a young Dan Marino. Bears fans were expecting (and hoping for) a Bears-Dolphins Super Bowl in 1986 so that the Bears could avenge their lone loss during the 1985 regular season, That was not to be, however, as the New England Patriots upset the Dolphins and went to the 1986 Super Bowl. And although he was one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, Dan Marino never played in another Super Bowl.

NBA superstars like Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing and Reggie Miller never got to win a championship. Others, like Gary Payton, won at the end of their career by going to a good team. Getting to the top is elusive.

My point is simple: Getting to the top is almost any venture is a combination of many factors. When you are there, enjoy it while you can. Don't be so cocky as to think that you somehow have the magic  formula and that getting back there, once you are deposed, is a matter of just doing what you did before and waiting for it to happen. Sometimes you have no control over many of the factors. Sometimes dumb bad luck stops you. It could be that the magic formula is not all that. In any event, it is rare to get back. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Be thankful for it. But don't be so foolish as to voluntarily vacate the top, thinking that you will certainly get back up there. If only Jerry Krause understood that.

Epilogue
I used to be big into online poker back in the glorious days before Black Friday. I started this blog in March 2006. I saw that a bunch of poker bloggers had a weekly tournament on Full Tilt Poker called "The Mookie," so I decided to play. I took a nasty beat in my first Mookie, and then a week later, won the second one I played on October 25, 2006.
Soft field, I thought. Easy money maker. Well, I played the Mookie nearly every darn week. I went deep. I final tabled. I took second place. But that second Mookie win just kept eluding me. I finally won my second one on July 1, 2009. It took 140 weeks to win my second. Strangely enough, it took just four more weeks to win my third. Go figure.

Thanks for reading!

1 Comments:

Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

The Mookie -- those were good times!

7:02 AM  

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