‘We gon’ shock the world!’
Those were the words of Michigan forward Juwan Howard as he and his fellow teammates rushed excitedly into their changing room after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes and advancing to the Final Four. Five freshman leading their college basketball team to a Final Four. Starting one freshman was rare enough, for five to start all at once was absurd to some. Then for that five to be all black guys, inspiring a hip-hop movement throughout college basketball and backing up all the hype and talk with free flowing, high octane and most importantly winning basketball was pretty mind-blowing! From black socks to sick dunks, they didn’t care what people said, they did as Juwan said, they shocked the world.
Barry Sanders is considered by some to be the greatest running back ever in the NFL but in the prime of his career he retired. He was well on his way to earning to All-time rushing record but he stopped because he didn’t want to play for a rebuilding Detroit Lions team just so he could break records. He wasn’t going anywhere else so he decided to call it quits. Barry Sanders liked to play and win at Football he didn’t play for individual accomplishment or personal glory he played for the love of the game and trust me when I say there’s no fun in losing if you know you’re team’s not going to get any better so you have to admire Mr. Sanders for having the strength of mind not to let Front Offices, media or anyone else influence him into doing something he didn’t want to do.
Bo Jackson was the most gifted athlete ever and I don’t think anyone will disagree with me on that. He is the only athlete to ever garner Allstar status in both the MLB and NFL. In fact the only thing that stopped Bo Jackson from being one of the greatest in either of his chosen sports was the sheer power that Bo Jackson, himself possessed. He was drafted 1st overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1986 NFL draft, but Jackson refused to play due to a scandal that the Buccaneers seemed to be behind to make Jackson ineligible to finish out his NCAA baseball career at Auburn University. So he refused to play and instead he entered the MLB draft. People were astounded! How could such a gifted athlete throw away such an amazing opportunity? He was drafted in the Fourth round by reigning champions, The Kansas City Royals. It seemed like a low-risk high-opportunity pick and the only reason people took notice is because of his choice to quit football. He started out slow, and eventually made the Royals roster in 1987 and finished with 22 home runs for the season and 10 stolen bases. He started to emerge as a star in 1989 and was selected as an Allstar starter. His first play on offense was an enormous hit for a homerun and then at the halftime Nike released the worldwide famous ad campaign ‘Bo Knows.’ Increasing his celebrity status. While all this is going on Bo Jackson is also starring for the Los Angles Raiders as their star running back in the NFL. They selected him 183rd in the ’87 draft. He said that it was a ‘pastime’ for him during the MLB offseason. And just as he had meteorically risen from no one to someone it all ended when tackled in an NFL Playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, he stepped awkwardly after half breaking the tackle he dislocated his hip joint and severed blood vessels causing him to get a hip replacement, thus leading most to assume his football career and his baseball career were over. But he persevered through a grueling rehab and returned to play baseball, he hit a home run on his first hit in a game against the New York Yankees. Though only a shadow of his old self, he returned to play a Major sport with an artificial hip, the first ever to do so.
I didn’t just write this to let you know these three amazing stories, I wrote it to let you know that nothing is impossible. Whatever age, whatever size, whatever colour, whatever background the only person that can stop you from being the best you can, is you. And though you might think to yourself that you’re dreams are stupid and your aspirations are crazy and that everyone will laugh if you say it out loud, then what would’ve happened if Michigan coach Steve Fisher was too scared to start five freshman because of what people thought. Did Kobe Bryant or LeBron James care what the media thought when they announced for the draft straight out of High School.
As long as it’s not harmful or offensive the only person you’re offending by not going out there and being yourself and saying what you think, is yourself. So what if a couple of people think you’re stupid or goofy, that you dress weird or that the way you play or do your thing is awkward or strange if it works for you, I can’t really see what’s wrong with it, if it works, everyone on my team will agree with me that we all thought Diego Fansa had a strange playstyle until he dropped 32 in his first game. I started this blog because I seen my coach had one of his own and it was quite good, so I decided ‘Hey I could do a pretty good job myself’. I’m not gonna lie it is weird for a fifteen year-old basketball obsessed Irish kid to start a blog, but it was what I wanted to do and to be honest I couldn’t really care what anyone had to say about it, unless of course it was positive. I think it’s turned out pretty good, it has been featured on another NBA blogging website, shootingbricks.com, and has recently hit 5000 all time views. This is the one hundreth post, from Kicks for the day to Dimes’ dishes it’s been a great experience so thanks and here’s to another 100!
Everyone has their doubters and nay-sayers it’s just up to you to prove of they’re right or wrong. If you have an idea or dream that’s against the Status Quo you can’t just wait for someone else to come along and do it. Sometimes you have to suck it up, gather yourself and
Shock the world.