No Fear Of Failure

Ever since I learned that I have a blood sugar problem, I have been trying hard to follow my doctor's advice and exercise more. I have chosen walking as my medium but I will have to admit that I don't enjoy it very much. The worst part of it for me is the loneliness since I have, to this point, done my walking alone. Mrs. RamFanatic and Leroy, the Tar Heel Terror, have informed me that I can count them out on the walking so I started taking my headphone radio with me to relieve the boredom and my legs unconsciously walk around the track at the local school.

I have started listening to a local radio sports talk show since when I walk, I usually do it at the same time of day. I don't particularly like the host of the show because he made it clear after taking over the show that he didn't particularly like the Tar Heels. This may, on occasion, cause me to read things into what he's saying and yes, I generally factor an anti-UNC bias into his comments as far as my reaction is concerned.

Several days ago, he asked the question "Is anybody other than me tired of all the attention that is being given to return of Michael Jordan to the NBA?" Asking the question this way is the standard ploy of talk show hosts, reporters, and even internet posters to stimulate interaction without risk but, in this instance, it stimulated thought, not activity on my part.

I admit that I have grown rather weary of the attention that has been given MJ's return to basketball by the media but, at the same time, I think I understand it. The talk show host was presenting the question ( here I go with the bias) as though it was MJ's fault that he is receiving so much publicity regarding his emergence from retirement to join the Wizards. I recognize it's possible that I'm reading too much into this.

So how do I feel about MJ's return to basketball? At first, I was opposed to him returning because, as I saw it, he had nothing to gain by returning and a lot to lose by once again competing on the hardwood with players oftentimes 15 years his junior. But then I reasoned with the facts. Apparently, MJ wants to return and it's arguable that he needs to return. The man has a need for competition that most of us cannot comprehend. The NBA wants MJ for obvious reasons but MJ has GOT to have the NBA.

I have always heard stories about MJ's competitive nature, whether it be in pool, golf, baseball or even Monopoly. Most people think they WANT to win but MJ apparently HAS to win in order for his life to be fulfilling. Oh, and there is one more difference between MJ and the rest of us. HE IS NOT AFRAID TO FAIL. He proved that when he tried baseball out for a while and even though he didn't enjoy remarkable success, he didn't often embarrass himself and got it out of his system.

Most of us don't understand a person who does not fear failure. It's human nature and all you have to do to see this is to observe animals where most human traits are demonstrated in their crudest forms. I wish I had a nickel for every high ranking executive I have seen in real life give lip service to wanting his subordinates to have no fear of failure and then being very displeased with an individual when failure occurs. The words sound good at a motivational meeting but have little meaning when the world of reality is involved. It's called survival.

Taking all of this into account I decided that I did want MJ to return to basketball primarily because that's what he wants to do and most importantly of all, because he can afford to do it. He is not stupid so he is able to weigh the positives against the negatives and he is willing to assume the risks with no fear of failure.

So, I made a deal with myself. I would be in favor of his returning but I would not involve myself in following his exploits as I had done on two previous occasions. I will watch some of his games, not all of them, and I wish him well every time he takes the floor. But, I am unwilling to go into depression if he has a bad night or misses a game winning shot. I have only a certain amount of emotional capital to give and I am going to hold back a little this time. Things could change, however. I watched the first couple of his games and I found myself starting to get swept up by the moment and I had to remind myself of the deal I had made. I'm not sure I can keep the terms of the deal throughout the season but I can try.

I read where a reporter said that if MJ could get the Wizards into the playoffs, it might very well be the crowning achievement of his career and I agree. Unlike MJ, I found new things to do after retirement and you don't have to worry about Ole RamFanatic launching a comeback anytime soon. You decide who the lucky one is. Could it be both of us?