Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Anything Is Possible

Im going through a tough time in my life right now, and one of the only things that keeps me going is the notion that truly, anything is possible. If you have the dedication, the desire, and the raw ability, you can do anything you want to in this world. It just requires total focus and positive energy. Remember what Ive written here, and keep it with you for the rest of your time on earth.

There are going to be people in your life who tell you that what you want to do isnt possible. They are going to give you a list of reasons why you shouldnt do something, or why you shouldnt attempt something that seems impossible. They will tell you, essentially, "Dont reach for the stars. There are lower hanging fruit right over here." Whatever you do, dont follow their advice. You can listen to what they have to say, you can tell them that you respect them, and even love them, but that you are the only person who should make decisions about what you do with your life. Almost without exception, the people who tell you to not reach for the stars, because you might get burned, are people who have never touched them. There is no reward without risk. There is no success without the possibility of failure.

Always follow your heart. Always listen to your gut. Your brain is an incredibly powerful organ of logic and reason, but it also can cause conflicts with your instincts. When your heart is telling you to do one thing and your brain and everyone around you is thinking otherwise, listen to your heart. If you dont, you wont ever attain true freedom in this world. You wont ever be truly happy because you never did what you really wanted to do. You rationalized. You compromised. You conceeded. You bought into the notion that because something is unlikely, its actually impossible and unattainable.

Thats not how The New World was discovered. Thats not how man set foot on the moon. Thats not how The Civil Rights movement was successful. Thats not how the Jets came back from being a 20-1 dog to get into the NFL playoffs this year. These things happened because human beings believed in themselves and their own ability to rise above their humanity and do superhuman things - impossible things, and attain true freedom. You only live once, and for a very short period of time. Make the most of it, and dont let your dreams escape you.

This blog is going to go offline for an unknown period of time, and it may never be back, and almost certainly not in this form. So please, remember this last post and come back to it whenever you are facing hardship or adversity in your life. What you want in life is attainable. If you can dream it, and you have the dedication and perseverance to forge those dreams into reality, anything is possible.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Life of A Jets Fan

By Bob Herbert of The New York Times

"Here we go again," said the Jets fan.

That would be me.

I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid drug addiction and alcoholism, and I gave up smoking cigarettes a very long time ago. But I am a Jets fan. And being a New York Jets football fan is an illness. So keep that in mind, and please be kind as you read this.

There was a single moment of glory on Jan. 12, 1969, when the great Joe Namath, with his white shoes and long hair and a right arm that could write poetry with a football, led the Jets to the greatest upset in pro football history: defeating the mighty Colts of Baltimore in the Super Bowl, 16-7.

Google it. You’ll see.

I was young and thought that was the start of something big. Once you take that first hit of a powerful drug, you think that exalted, blissful feeling can be repeated. You can spend the rest of your life trying to experience it again.

I should have known the following December that something freakish was afoot. All the Jets had to do was win one more game — just defeat the Kansas City Chiefs — to go back to the Super Bowl. Behind 6-3 in the fourth quarter, the defending world champions had a first down on the Chiefs’ 1-yard line. The 1-yard line!

It was cold. The wind was blowing. And the beginning of decades of unimaginable, humiliating futility for Jets fans was upon us. The Jets could not advance the ball that 1 yard.

They tried and tried and tried again. It never happened. They got within a foot of the goal line, but they couldn’t cross it. They lost, and the Chiefs went to the Super Bowl.

There is something otherworldly about the perennial ineptitude of this franchise.
Gerald Eskenazi, a former sportswriter for The Times, called his history of the team “Gang Green: An Irreverent Look Behind the Scenes at Thirty-Eight (Well, Thirty-Seven) Seasons of New York Jets Futility.” That was in 1998, and nothing has changed since then.

I bring this up because now, more than four, long decades after their one brief moment in the sun, Jets fans are setting themselves up for yet another brutal disappointment. A couple of weeks ago, the coach, Rex Ryan, mistakenly thought that his team, playing terribly, had blown any chance to make the playoffs. It turned out that he was wrong.

Then the Jets went on to beat the undefeated Indianapolis Colts, and if they beat the Cincinnati Bengals in a nationally televised game on Sunday night they will enter the postseason countdown to the Super Bowl.

And that’s the specialty of this team. It’s not just that it’s been bad for most of the past half-century. The insidious aspect is that time and again the Jets rise from the ashes of their awfulness, just enough to offer the hope that something wonderful is about to happen. And the fans get all pumped and crazy, and then the roof caves in.

We should know better, but we can’t help ourselves.

There was the time, for example, when my heroes were playing the Dolphins in Miami and the winner of that game would go on to the Super Bowl. The Jets had a good team that year, and I figured they had Miami’s number. But the weather gods opened the skies over South Florida and it rained for days. It poured. The Dolphins refused to protect the field with a tarpaulin. The result was a vast basin of mud that paralyzed the Jets’ high-powered offense. Miami won 14-0.

Things often happen with the Jets that seem inexplicable. After one of their typically dismal seasons, they fired the coach, Pete Carroll, who had lost his last five games. He was replaced with a coach, Rich Kotite, who had lost his last seven.

The owner, the late Leon Hess, said he had made the switch because he wanted to “win now.”

That didn’t happen. Kotite was a spectacularly terrible coach.

Jets fans have come to take a certain twisted pride in their team’s horrendous history
, competing to see who has the worst and most vivid memories. Years ago, whenever I had trouble sleeping, I’d listen to Joe Benigno, who then was the overnight guy on WFAN sports radio and as big a Jets fan as I am. He’d tell hilarious stories of his extreme anguish over the team’s amazing capacity to find creative ways to lose. The bigger the game, the more innovative the effort.

So here we go again.

Long-suffering Jets fans will be glued to their televisions on Sunday night, hoping for the win that will shoot their team into the playoffs. So we can begin praying again for the miracle that never happens.