Every time Kurt Warner’s face is on TV, his lower third reads, “Super Bowl champion …” and I have to re-live the pain all over again.
The Tennessee Titans were brawlers and I KNEW they were going to win the Super Bowl. I mean …I just knew it. They had ridden to the big game on something called “The Music City Miracle.” That had some sort of destiny attached to it …didn’t it?
I sat with my wife and four other friends, in Lake Tahoe, at a huge hotel, watching the game on a 50-foot screen, with 200 hundred Rams fans. They were rowdy and rude and taunting us the whole game. And we were about to shut them up. Well …you know …our TEAM was.
We were literally the only 6 people in the place cheering on Steve McNair and the boys. And now, in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, Mr McNair was shoving it down their throats. He was a freaking iron man and leading an MVP-style drive down the field to score.
At the last second, he threw a perfect slant to Kevin Dyson (hero of said Music City Miracle) and Kevin punched it in almost untouched. Well …I mean …he got the ball over the plane. Um …well …it actually didn’t get over the plane. But it DID touch the line …sort of …after it had already touched the ground. But, I mean, in theory the Titans won because that play was executed perfectly.
Okay …well …Mike Jones, from the Rams, DID tackle Kevin before he got into the end zone. But he was technically out of position and it was just a lucky play. So – you know – TECHNICALLY, the Titans should’ve been able to claim the victory. CLEARLY they won that game. I PROMISE you they won!
But, alas, the room I was in, the NFL and the world …saw it differently. And Kurt Warner went on to immortality. I lost a hundred bucks on the game and spent the rest of that night in a hospital …passing a kidney stone. Stave McNair never got back to the big game and ended up getting killed by a mistress …years later.
None of that night played out the way it was supposed to …the way it had played out in my mind. The stories I had written were wadded up and thrown away. Someone else’s stories got written perfectly. And it just sucked.
I’ve had plenty of scenarios play out like this in my life. I’m sure you have too. Things that were supposed to happen …didn’t. And things that were NOT supposed to happen …did. We make ourselves the hero of the movie and we believe we are playing a leading role. And then one day we wake up to find we were only a bit player or a supporting cast member …or we were on the catering crew. And it simply isn’t right.
One of the cornerstones of becoming a person in full is the ability to deal with disappointment. Some of us internalize it. Some of us lash out at it. Some of us simply deny it and continue to assert it isn’t happening. That’s normally what children do.
Donald J Trump is the president elect of the United States Of America. I’m sure Hillary Clinton has been told millions of times, by people around her, that she would no doubt be the first female president. But she isn’t. That’s a fact.
People are trying everything from re-counts to blaming the election on some sort of Russian hack (which I’m sure there have been plenty of), to believing a petition from a different state can sway electors in the college, to literally asking the president elect to step down (which isn’t going to happen) to actually calling for a hostile overthrow of an administration that hasn’t even taken the oath yet (banana republic much?). But it’s wasted time and wasted energy. And it’s starting to become downright sad.
Donald Trump says weird things, lives in a gold-plated high rise, with a trophy wife and tweets to Saturday Night Live at 2 in the morning. But guess what? He is now the president elect of the United States. And in a weird way, THAT fact is something I sort of love about this country. There are no inevitable leaders. There are no guarantees of power in this place. Your last name (be it Bush or Clinton) doesn’t mean a thing …if you’re not where the people are.
When Barack Obama was elected president, I was asked (on TV, by a VERY excited young, black reporter) ) what I thought about it and how excited I was. The truth is I wasn’t excited at all about President elect Obama’s coming policies and abject lack of leadership experience. We had just elected him over a Navy captain/bonefide war hero/5-term US Senator. If anyone was ever uniquely qualified or ever DESERVED to be president …it was John McCain. But that’s not how America works.
My answer to the young reporter was exactly what it would be today: “I love the fact that anyone from anywhere …with any level of experience …can become president of this country. It keeps us rooted in who we are: a government run by citizens …not a born and bred ruling class.”
The young reporter wasn’t expecting that and had a bewildered look on his face. But I meant it then …and I mean it now.
Donald J Trump is our president …for better or worse. Accept it. And while people are giving up sex and skipping class to grieve and banging their computer keys in all caps, to make sure everyone on social media knows EXACTLY how they feel about all of this, the Dow is climbing like a test pilot trying to break the sound barrier. Businesses are gearing up for a friendly environment and investors are eyeing the US again as a place to expand.
That’s not bad.
And when he’s not tweeting like a 14-year-old girl, the president elect is meeting with everyone from Ray Lewis to Jim Brown to Bill Gates to Al Gore to Leo DiCaprio to Mitt Romney to Kanye West. At the risk of sounding weird …isn’t this what good leaders do? Meet with everyone on every side?
Donald Trump is something we’ve never seen in our White House before. But he’s there. I’m watching with cautious optimism. Some of the things he has already done …I disagree with. Some things …I like. I’ll bet if you stop comparing him to Hitler long enough …and just watch …you might find it a mixed bag as well.
Either way, this is where we are. And if your team lost, maybe you should stop blaming the refs and look at why they got stopped on the goal line.