Saturday, January 10, 2015

The best one

I have fifteen books sitting on the top shelf of a brackets and boards bookcase on the wall by my desk at home. They are the books I own that have had the greatest effect on me. The Cider House Rules is one of these fifteen.  I read the book about thirty years ago and saw the movie when it came out. Usually I am disappointed in movies I see after having been impressed with the book. Not the case here. I thought the movie was terrific as well.

In the book there is a recurring scene that takes place at the orphanage when a couple would visit looking for a child to adopt.  One boy regularly says to the prospective parents, "I'm the best one."  At one point this orphan says to Homer, the main character in the story, "Tell them, tell them I'm the best one."

It has stuck with me over the thirty years.  The need to be loved, and embraced, and adopted in the word's broadest sense.  "Look at me. Choose me. I am the best one."

In sports when championships are determined, there is much emotion but not the same type.  This afternoon 430 eastern time begins what I consider to be the best weekend for professional sports. The remaining eight teams in the national football league will play for the right to advance and be identified as the best one.  This weekend is the best one for sports, and it will determine who will be eligible to pursue the recognition of being number one.

This year the weekend is even more of a feast for sport enthusiasts because on Monday night, after a Saturday and Sunday packed with games, the champion of division 1 college football will be determined when Oregon plays Ohio State.  And if you are truly a fan you will begin the entire weekend not at 430 today, but at 1 eastern when college football's Division 1-AA tournament concludes.  North Dakota State will defend its crown against Illinois State at that time.

Whoever wins this weekend's tilts will be thrilled and those who lose deflated.  The sense of winning and losing will linger.  Cincinnati's head coach, one week later, I imagine is still despondent because despite his successes during the regular season he has never won a playoff game.  Excellent athletes who have never won "a ring" sound deflated when they speak of this loss in their grown up roles as tv analysts and pundits.  Dan Marino who was one of the best quarterbacks I have ever seen, never won a super bowl and despite his stunning skills, only went to one super bowl game.

We all want to be the best one.   And be recognized as such.  It is a sign of good health, I'll suggest, when we can make that determination ourselves. That is, we can take a good long look in the mirror and say we are the best one of who we could be.  But the human condition is such that most of us need to have our successes acknowledged.

The best ones this weekend:

  • North Dakota State
  • New England Patriots
  • Seattle Seahawks (but it will be close)
  • Green Bay Packers
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Ohio State

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