There is a reason that this whole ‘being hard on myself’ thing nags at me is my reaction is tiered and I have tried to get it simplified. I don’t want to sound unappreciative or anything, but like this one smart cat said in so many words, when you can’t take anything away from something, that is when you are finished. With that in mind…
“We knew the environment.” -Bob Davie
A brief take on Notre Dame football. I think that athletes go to Notre Dame and have their head ‘blown up’ much in the way Joe Namath alluded to when he commented on the New York Jets recently. Not that I think he was right or not, but I do think that in ND’s case that the football team and its fans think they are better than maybe they really are, individually or collectively. This has been my opinion for a LONG TIME, since Lou Holtz left the school.
After getting trounced by the University of Miami in a hostile and raucous Orange Bowl, overmatched coach Bob Davie uttered that phrase and I take it to mean “We knew what we are getting into and we knew how difficult the task that was ahead of us was.” The long and short of it is that I use the phrase when I find myself in a complicated and sticky situation without any clear horizons. The only thing that I am sure of is that I have to continue to move forward.
Now when the criticism was made by Mr. Namath of the Jets and the style of its head coach Rex Ryan, I ‘got it’. Don’t know if Joe is correct or not, but I do get his point. That is why I tend to get antsy when people tell me that I am too hard on myself. As a competitive cat, it is that I have not be disciplined enough that has cost me in the long run. It isn’t a insecurity that reminds me of how ‘this or that’ (and this is one of those times ‘this and that’ are related!) I have been but something I use to motivate myself to be that extraordinary and wonderful man that I imagine myself to be, dig?
Using this blog as an actual diary means the dialogue I have with myself is being open to being commented on and critique. It isn’t that I am being dismissive or worse, looking for commiseration or pity, but reminding myself of failings is how I get up off my butt and do the grunt work necessary to get where I am determined to go.
I MAY BE A CHICKEN ON A STRING…
… but for you, it is still ‘death from above’!
When I was with Mookie Dee, I used to think that it bothered her that she was STILL not intellectually superior to a cat with ‘dead spots’ on his brain. When I first was diagnosed (after a few weeks of mourning!) I told myself that ‘since I had much more capacity than the average cat, I STILL had more to work with than the average cat (or kitten if you are one!). Cocky? Me??
Yes my dear, I have an ego but it isn’t mere puffery for the sake of building an image to cover my flaws and what not. Like hip-hop, my having an ego isn’t about something I do once in a while but because of something I live each and every day. It isn’t about what I say about myself but what I DO for myself that breeds my confidence.
But what is just as amazing is that I can also sublimate my estimation of myself in the face of superior knowledge and understanding. I haven’t been as arrogant in my journal as I am normally because I am past that stage and now I am engaged the actual actualizing of my eclectic esoteric!
Another football story that ol’ Bob Davie and ND is related to is one from when Northwestern football first turned the corner in the 90’s and became a credible football school under Gary Barnett. The Wildcats had suffered from the same fate that the ‘08-’09 Lions did… for three years from ‘79 to ‘82, losing 34 consecutive football games!
To say that their was a culture that bred losing and low expectations on campus would be putting it mildly. It was a horrible place to try to be a football coach, the indifference being so ingrained that coaches like Dennis Green, could only drag the program to ‘respectability’. It was a horrible place for a first-time coach to build his career and definitely not the kind of place you wanted on your resume. But that changed in 1991, when Coach Barnett was hired.
Prior to their victory over the Fighting Irish in 1995, he would advise his players NOT to act crazy after they win the game and implored upon them to ‘act like they have been there before’, meaning that he wanted them to take their expected victory against Notre Dame and treat it like a win over any other team. Not that he wanted to diminish the significance of the victory but that in the culture he wanted, the players had to think like they are good and deserving to beat teams like Notre Dame.
And now we are getting to the kernel of my brain computer. I would not be doing what I am doing unless I believed that I could do it. My living on my own and managing my life independently runs in direct contrast to what a person with the kind of injury I have should be doing.
So why am I doing it? Why I am essentially out on an Island, alone?? Because I believe in the impossible and that I am just the kind of cat who is up to the task!! Besides, the worst thing NEVER happens to me… it always happens to OTHER people.
Last night Nebraska and I went down to the Old Mattress Factory and watched the first two-thirds of the Wisconsin-Nebraska game. As you can see, I dressed the part, but I thought the Badger were going to win. Not only were they at home, with an experienced star quarterback, but Nebraska and their spread offense did not match up well with the size and strength of the Badgers. Nebraska mentioned a graphic that showed the Wisconsin offensive line as a bit larger than the NFL's Green Bay Packers. To paraphrase Butch Lewis, “and they were going up against our little line!”
I have already mentioned my affinity for the Badgers and I am going to have to re-organize my cheering preferences for Big Ten football. I mainly have no passion for any team, more hoping for a good game and a great storyline! One thing that did come to mind was Nick Toon, a receiver for the Badgers, the son of former Wisconsin great and NFL player Al Toon. I don’t think it qualifies as ‘irony’ but it struck me that one of the reasons Al Toon is a name I am familiar with because his career ended early because of concussion syndrome.
Like I said… I know the environment.