Don’t Quit.

"It makes me sick when I see a guy watch it go out of bounds."-Larry Bird Image Credit:

“It makes me sick when I see a guy watch it go out of bounds.”-Larry Bird
Image Credit:

The other day I was perusing the established sporting magazine, Sports Illustrated, and skipped to the usually enjoyable last article of the magazine. The article, written by Steve Rushin, was entitled “I Can Quit You Baby” and it discussed the issue of quitting in sports. My response to quitting is a pretty simple one. You just don’t do it. The fact that there is an article that even asks the question is absurd to me. Buy hey, 1st Amendment baby!! You can talk about whatever you want. Let’s take a look at the last couple of lines of the article, shall we? I think they sum up the ridiculousness of the article perfectly.  “If you’ve never quit anything, you really ought to try. And if at first you don’t succeed, try again. Don’t give up until you’ve given up. It just might set you free”. Hey kids, having some tough luck in your sport? Quit. Do you seem to be in a slump? Oh it’s okay, just quit. You’ve lost 3 games in a row? Try one more time and if you can’t get the win after the fourth game, than you can quit. “Don’t give up until you’ve given up. It just might set you free”. This guy gets paid to write? What does this line even mean? I think he took Philosophy 100 a little too seriously in college. I’m going to talk about quitting from a team sport standpoint because that’s what I know best. Quitting doesn’t set you free. Whether you participate in a team sport or compete on your own, quitting is the act of letting yourself or your teammates down because you’re afraid of not obtaining personal success. It’s a selfish act used to put yourself above both teammates and opponents. Growing up, I got two important pieces of advice from two different men. The first was from my high school rugby coach. He said, “go out there and give it everything you got and if you get hurt, no worries, we’ll carry you off on your shield”. This always stuck with me. You don’t come off that field unless you physically can’t play anymore. You sacrifice your body for the 14 other guys on the field with you and the 7 guys on the bench waiting for their opportunity. It doesn’t matter if you’re up by two, trying to hold on to the lead, or you’re down by 35 and the outcome doesn’t look good. No matter what you compete in, you give everything you’ve got every time you’re out there because you made a commitment when you signed up. There is no shame in getting hurt and being “carried off on your shield”, but there is shame on just walking off the field because you’re too tired or just not playing well. There is no freedom in quitting and that line is starting to piss me off more and more.This brings me to the second piece of advice I got from my Dad and I’ll admit, I still have to be reminded of it from time to time. He told me, “you got to play the game the right way”. It sounds so simple and broad, but it’s so important. It means you hustle every play, you respect your opponent, if you’re struggling in one aspect of the game, you don’t feel bad for yourself, but you sack up and find a different way to help the team win. Everyone has lost and everyone has had their share of struggles, but it’s those struggles that make you stronger. They create a stronger bond with teammates, they make you a stronger competitor, and they make victory that much sweeter. I know I’m speaking as the mayor of ‘Cliche City’ right now, but it’s really that simple. No one has ever gained anything from quitting. But John, the author of the article made a great point about Wally Amos quitting his job and becoming successful in selling chocolate chip cookies. One, Famous Amos cookies suck. Two, I don’t know how his editor didn’t throw this article away as soon as he saw that line and three, did i mention Famous Amos cookies suck? Don’t quit kids, it’s not a good look. I don’t even want to know what Jimmy V would say if he read this article.


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