THERE IS ONLY ONE ‘STATE’
… just as there is only one ‘Carolina’. I figured that whenever I talk about sports with someone that they will be discern from our conversation that I am speaking of either Michigan State or North Carolina. If they can’t, then why would I be talking to them?
Due to unforeseen circumstance (which will be addressed later) I actually missed most of the game. I picked up in the second half where I saw the Spartans turn a 4-point deficit into their victory in the Big Ten championship game. While I know that pretty much every team who celebrated their championship victory for their respective conferences, my personal association with State makes it seem somehow more special. I think it is the connection that Coach Izzo has with his players, most of whom come from places not that different from Iron Mountain, where he was born, and are on a journey that also is not too different from his.
The team’s best player and unqualified team leader, Draymond Green is a personification of the kind of growth a person can undertake under Coach Izzo. Green has blossomed at State, and knowing where he came from and the difficulty that brother’s in places like Saginaw face, Draymond is yet another example of what a person can become if they put the effort in. You hear a lot of coaches talk about giving opportunities to kids from rough backgrounds but Coach Izzo at State is one who I know does just that. He gets kids from small towns and gets them to not only succeed on the basketball court (every 4-year player at State has played in a Final Four) but in the classroom as well (Graduation rate above 70%).
Another key quality in the State model for success is that they play for each other. It really isn’t about the individual as it is the collective that they are a part of, the legacy left by the players and teams that came before it. I remember a couple of seasons ago when it looked like the streak of every 4-year player getting a chance to play in a Final Four was in jeopardy, and the basketball team played with a focused desperation that was palatable, so strong and evident, that I remember looking at a game and seeing another team will leech from them even though they were ahead at the time! Sure, it would be a personal blow to me if something like what happened at Syracuse with Bernie Fine (and his wife?!?) or this latest blow up with players testing positive for illegal substances happened under Coach Izzo’s watch. But even with that out there, I connect to the ethos of Michigan State and how despite the shadow cast by Michigan, they have carved out their own unique identity and I think reflect the character of the state of Michigan.
LEAVING FEARS BEHIND SO THAT YOU CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH YOUR LIFE
i think that you have to make relationships equally important as everything else because you need the exposure to other people to be able to pick and choose who is really right for you-
I dance around this subject enough when it comes to writing in my journal because I don’t want anyone to think that it is somehow about them, because it may hit somewhere where they are. But if ‘you’ were hear and present IRL listening to me pontificate on the topic of relationships and ‘loveships’, I would say something like, “The only reason I would call you a spade is because you look like a shovel,” or another non-sequitur. But I am going to tackle this head-on in hopes it will get rid of this persistent, but low-grade headache I have been carrying around for awhile now regarding relationships.
The past ten years I have been involved both in deep and tangential relationships with women who were generally inaccessible. It was not that they were unavailable, but that they have built up so many walls to their hearts that they violate the Sun Tzu’s rule about building up and defending fortresses. While I am all for the pursuing a woman, along with not isolating yourself, Sun Tzu also warns against protracted engagements. It becomes a drain, and eventually taxes the spirit.
Now I don’t think that what I have experienced is indicative of anything on a broader scale. But this is why I have to ‘be motivated’ by to want to get in a relationship at this time. I feel like a one-time successful baseball scout beating the bushes for young baseball players, whose sense of talent is not as keen as it once was. Where at one time I was able to find and nurture loveship’s effortlessly, it seems the more that I invest in a ‘ship’, the less I have to show on my return on investement.
When I consider the progress that I have made the past two years on my own, there are times where I do want for company on this part of my journey. I think it would really be fun to have a special someone who was at least a CANDIDATE to be that someone... but a cat like Mark is going to have fun ANYWAY, but still… it would be nice!