A Time for Heroes

MC da Silva at American Thinker had some thoughts to share about Mike Gundy the Head Football coach at Oklahoma State University.

To be honest, I actually lost some sleep over the Mike Gundy video earlier last week. Maybe you’ve seen it — the video where the Oklahoma State University football coach is seen apologizing for the offense of wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the conservative news company OANN.

It was a disturbing scene with the coach robotically parroting the talking points of the delicate running back who originally took issue with the offending piece of apparel.

It’s reminiscent of a hostage video of a captured US soldier. Either that or something out of a cartoon villain’s mind control experiment. You can practically see the spirals in his eyes.

Beyond the bizarre visuals, the most disturbing thing about this was the fact that an ostensible adult and leader could be brought to heel by his subordinate — an early adult many years his junior — by something as meaningless and inconsequential as the running back’s tender feelings.

It represented yet another example of the plague of institutional failures spreading over our country. It is no longer limited to just classrooms, the media, government, and their globalist corporate overlords.

Today, we are faced with the crumbling of institutions such as the Boy Scouts, the Catholic Church, the Pentagon, professional sports, and, now apparently, even college sports.

The athletic field is where we instill in our young men the most important lessons of masculine behavior. Play fair, respect your opponent, be gracious in victory and proud in defeat.

If the scene at Oklahoma is anything to go by, the institution of sports has also fallen.

Yet there undoubtedly a silver lining to this terrifying turn of events:

The stakes are now real.

Take it from someone who has volunteered to serve our country: the path of courage is a source of enormous personal satisfaction.

Read it all, and mind, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with his using of himself as an example, for our soldiers have always epitomized this. But for once, I didn’t think of a soldier, my mind went back to my youth in Indiana and basketball. [Yes, I was a jock, and always a fan.] Dr. James Naismith, who said. “While the game was invented in Massachusetts, basketball really had its origin in Indiana, which remains the center of the sport.” It still does.

I immediately thought of “The Coach”, John Wooden of UCLA, born in Hall, Indiana, first three-time consensus All-American player, the first inductee into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. and so many more honors that you can (and should) read about at Wikipedia. Truly legendary.

I grew up in the era of Branch McCracken’s Hurrying Hoosiers at IU, and Rick Mount at Purdue, who was the leading scorer that memorable day when Purdue defeated Indiana 120-76. So it wasn’t that we didn’t have teams close at hand to watch. But we saw the Boilermakers lose two straight NCAA championships to the Lew Alcindor led Bruins. We noticed.

The Coach’s overall record of 664–162 (80.4%), including his two years at Indiana State and at UCLA, tells you much. Wasn’t much shame in losing to the team that had ten consecutive NCAA championships. Or to the man who refused to participate in the 1947 National Association of Intercollegiate Basketball (NAIB) tournament because they wouldn’t allow black players.

But what I really thought of is his legacy, of a man in control of himself, in fact, that is the legacy he himself would have chosen I think. On the official Coach Wooden website, you can read of his pyramid of success (you should, in fact). But I’ll highlight a few:

Loyalty is part of our higher nature and it is also part of the nature of leaders who achieve higher goals. The power of Loyalty is the reason I placed it in the center of the Pyramid’s foundation.

A leader who has Loyalty is the leader whose team I wish to be a part of. This is true almost everywhere. Most people, the overwhelming majority of us, wish to be in an organization or part of a team whose leadership cares about them, provides fairness and respect, dignity and consideration.

Loyalty from the top inspires Loyalty from below. It is a most precious and powerful commodity and it starts with the leader.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

Getting to the top and staying there (somewhat different tasks) present unique and formidable challenges. To do either requires great Self-Control. This characteristic within the Pyramid of Success addresses the importance of controlling yourself in all areas – avoiding temptations, avoiding emotionalism, avoiding peaks and valleys of effort.

I viewed Self-Control, both personal and by our team, as a sixth Bruin on the court during my years at UCLA. That invisible sixth player was as important as any of the visible players.

I like to remind those under my supervision: “Control yourself so others won’t have to do it for you.”

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

There is no stronger steel than well-founded belief in yourself; the knowledge that your preparation is fully complete and that you are ready for the competition.

Confidence cannot be grafted on artificially. True abiding confidence is earned through tenaciously pursuing and attaining those assets that allow you to reach your own level of competency; that is, excellence.

You must monitor Confidence because it can easily turn into arrogance which then can lead to the mistaken and destructive belief that previous achievement will be repeated without the same hard effort that brought it about in the first place.

(Excerpt from Wooden on Leadership)

All from the website. Do check it out. No man was ever more successful and respected in his field than The Coach, he has been since the sixties, one of my heroes, one I wouldn’t trade for anything.

And remember this too:

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” ― John Wooden

About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

3 Responses to A Time for Heroes

  1. audremyers says:

    I was so surprised! This article went in an unexpected direction. Lovely tribute.

    I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout no roundball (a play on a quote from Prissy, a character in Gone With The Wind – you know, that movie we’re not allowed to watch anymore)

    Liked by 2 people

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