Saturday, March 3, 2018

the Plan B conundrum

Orlando Brown, Jr.
I don't know a lot about professional (American) football outside an occasional couch-potato spree during the season. I do know it's a competitive world and there are a lot of young men yearning to join the roster of big-shouldered stars and to leave poverty or disadvantage in the rear-view mirror.

[The black tennis player, Arthur Ashe, after a stellar on-court career, would sometimes point out in talks to black kids yearning for a crack at professional athletics ... point out that in the entire country, there were a total of 6,000+/-(?) sports jobs. 6,000 out of then-200-plus million population. He encouraged them to try for professional sports if they liked, but to always have a Plan B -- a back-up in the event that they were relegated to the vast majority.]

Having a Plan B is not easy. By having one, you concede that Plan A may never come true. How can anyone put heart and soul into a Plan A if s/he has configured a Plan B?

What brought this to mind was a bad-news story for pro football wannabe Orlando Brown, Jr., a six-foot-eight-inch, 345-pound tackle out of Oklahoma University who may or may not be drafted by a professional team. This is one big fellow, obviously, but his capacities for speed and strength are generally behind the curve for a professional. So ... maybe he'll be drafted and maybe not. I wonder if he has a Plan B.

Imagine the pressures he must be under with everyone looking at his physical attributes on the one hand and his lack of comparative capacities on the other. Others believe in him ... sort of. They press around him, eyes a-glitter, thinking, "if only...." It's kind of like the star-struck woman who decides to marry a man she "just knows" she can change. My guess is that someone will hire Brown, give him a shot, and then drop him like a hot potato when or if he proves himself incapable.

Was it ever any different when shooting for a Plan A goal? Pick a goal, any goal.

Want to get enlightened? OK -- what's your Plan B? You can believe up a storm, woo-hoo with the rest of the believers, sweat your ass off and find, enfin, that the capabilities do not and can not possibly fill the bill. Everyone believes -- hell, you claim to believe as well -- and press and prod ... go for it! Make your dreams come true! And then, and then....

And then there's comedian Benny Hill:

Benny Hill

They said that it could not be done,
He said, "Just let me try."
They said, "Other men have tried and failed,"
He answered, "But not I."
They said, "It is impossible,"
He said, "There's no such word."
He closed his mind, he closed his heart...
To everything he heard.

He said, "Within the heart of man,
There is a tiny seed.
It grows until it blossoms,
It's called the will to succeed.
Its roots are strength, its stem is hope,
Its petals inspiration,
Its thorns protect its strong green leaves,
With grim determination.

"Its stamens are its skills
Which help to shape each plan,
For there's nothing in the universe
Beyond the scope of man."
They thought that it could not be done,
Some even said they knew it,
But he faced up to what could not be done...
And he couldn't bloody do it!

1 comment:

  1. To slightly misquote Winston Churchill:

    “History is written by the winners.”