Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Matter of Maturity

I have conspicuously avoided facile sports analogies on this forum with a very occasional reference to one contest or another essentially esoteric to Americans. But an analogy about a particular quarterback, the leader of his team and the leader of our nation springs to mind. I am a Nashvillian and as such am offered inescapable coverage of the Tennessee Titan football team for which I grudgingly admit I root. Of late, there has been reportage ad nauseum concerning Vince Young who sustained a thumb injury in the last game. Vince Young is a tremendous athlete who gives the Titans the best chance to win of anyone at his crucial position with his strong arm and great speed of any quarterback in the league except perhaps disgusting "dog fighter" Micheal Vick. But while Vince Young has reveled in success (including being the hero of his national championship team at the University of Texas), he has not handled adversity encountered on the professional football field well. The last time Young sustained a serious on-field injury, there were fears he was in such a personal crisis he might harm himself or even attempt to take his own life. Young basked in fan adulation but was crushed by boos that he could not understand receiving after trying so hard and playing through less serious injury. It is not in enjoying success that maturity is measured but in coping with inevitable setbacks in any realm of life. Loss and failure weigh heavy on this young gladiator who could not accept his coach was only acting in his best long-term interest by not putting him back in the game where a further injury sustained to his thumb could have become unrecoverable, even with surgery. Coach Jeff Fisher did not allow  Young to return to the game out of love and concern. In no way was Fisher punishing Young. This was a sage elder trying to direct a less experienced charge, but in this case, the fledgling  would not listen. In America, we have a young President, brash and bold and filled with confidence who is so possessed of self-certitude that he has become invincible to logic and oblivious to reason and only pays lip service to the notion of defending America's allies as our enemies know all too well (as in the Korean crisis).  How one overcomes adversity and being willing to listen to those who have seen more of life are yardsticks of maturity where both Young and Obama seem wanting. Both Barack Hussein Obama and Vince Young believe they are bigger than that which they actually represent. 

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