Ancient baseball titan and NLCS MVP Howie Kendrick of the Washington Nationals did a very cool thing during Game 7 of the World Series Wednesday night and then followed it up with a very good, team-wide dugout dance party.
To be the absolute best at something, anything, in a city of eight million people takes a certain combination of skill, will, balance and, in most cases, luck. However minor that area of greatness is, once you are the best, that is it. The key piece of the puzzle seems to be that bit of luck. For an artist, it means having your works seen by a prominent critic and earning a prestigious exhibition at one of the better museums in Manhattan. For musicians, it means playing a great show in front of someone who matters, whether it be an agent, a producer, a club promoter or a famous bassist. For everyone else, it simply means working hard enough and being consistent enough to succeed in a given field. Health is a big part of consistency. More on that later. Read More
After having finally shown up late to a game, I knew better than to rely solely on my desire to play soccer in order to get myself out of bed on a Sunday morning, take a bus and three different trains and reach a somewhat remote location in time. It was an awakening of sorts, one in which I realized I had paid specifically for the privilege of playing a game I enjoy with a bunch of strangers who chose to name their team after a Prince album and song. Never again, I decided, would I arrive unprepared, whether mentally, physically or otherwise. For the final two regular season games, I would set personal precedents for promptness and diligence on the pitch which I could realize as a standard for my play going into the playoffs. This would be the turning point. Read More
Every player in the history of any sport, from the top-level professionals who become legends to the street amateurs who play the game once and never again, have a best game. It is simply the way anything requiring skill has to go. For those who play once and only once, their best day is also their worst day, and they can live with the fact that this paradox is inherent to the limited sample set they offer. For the rest, with each game comes an opportunity to raise the personal bar just a little higher. These are the days we remember long after the act of playing the game has ceased. We look back on them and are able to say, “Ah, yes, I remember that day well. When you have a game like that, you tend not to forget.”
Unfortunately, this was not one of those “best games,” and unfortunately, we remember games like this one as well, perhaps with even sharper memorial precision. Read More