Pretty Goddamned Glorious

“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, 
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.” -Walt Whitman

Congrats King James on breaking a record that until last night, no one thought possible.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (aka “The Captain”) wrote an excellent article detailing his thoughts on the accomplishment. I’ve always enjoyed Kareem’s eloquent writing and I encourage you to check it out Here.

I especially loved this part…

Whenever a sports record is broken—including mine—it’s a time for celebration. It means someone has pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible to a whole new level. And when one person climbs higher than the last person, we all feel like we are capable of being more.

For me, the inspirational power of sports is best explained in a scene in the 1985 film Vision Quest. In it, Elmo, an aging fry cook at a hotel, explains:

“I was in the room here one day, watchin’ the Mexican channel on TV. I don’t know nothin’ about Pelé. I’m watchin’ what this guy can do with a ball on his feet.

Next thing I know, he jumps in the air and flips into a somersault and kicks the ball in—upside down and backwards. The goddamn goalie never knew what the fuck hit him. Pelé gets excited. He rips off his jersey and starts running around the stadium wav­ing it around over his head. Everybody’s screaming in Spanish. I’m here, sitting alone in my room, and I start crying. [Pause.] Yeah, that’s right, I start crying. Because another human being, a species that I hap­pen to belong to, could kick a ball, and lift himself, and the rest of us sad-assed human beings up to a better place to be, if only for a minute . . . Let me tell ya, kid—it was pretty goddamned glorious.

Sports and theatre. Both are magical. Both can inspire. When performed at the highest level, both can lift us up and make us feel anything’s possible.

Both are pretty goddamned glorious.

4 thoughts on “Pretty Goddamned Glorious

    1. This is what I thought I was writing to you…so here goes again.

      Hey Johnny,
      I love that monologue from Vision Quest. Many years ago, I went back and forth with a vhs tape rewinding and fast forwarding it to transcribe that for a student who was about my age now. I love that writing.
      Thanks for reminding me of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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