Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Private Heroes

by Glenn T (writer), Las Vegas, NV, November 06, 2006


Game 5 of the 1997 and Game 3 of the 2006 Clippers regular season have almost nothing in common. Well, actually they have nothing in common for everyone, save me. And truth be told, the connection is

Game 5 of the 1997 and Game 3 of the 2006 Clippers regular season have almost nothing in common. Well, actually they have nothing in common for everyone, save me. And truth be told, the connection is tenuous and mostly born of my delusions of granduer, so if that sort of thing seems more self-aggrandizing than poetic to you, you'd best stop reading here - which is not to say that I've nothing more than an anecdote and a poorly-contemplated similie to provide... I think there's something here - but as writing is as much catharsis as it is attempting to be entertainment for the reader - you're taking your chances either way.

A recent dental procedure resulted in a minor and unexpected infection for me - which manifested itself mostly as a nasty fever, and the accompanying unpleasantries normally associated therewith. Unfortunately, this also coincided with Saturday night's game - and, as the west-side faithful in this town are so fond of saying - the show needed to go on. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not a basketball player, but rather an athlete who performs at basketball games, Clippers games to be precise. (Those of you who go to the games may now know what I do) And while you may not see what me and my teammates do out there as "athletics", you can rest assured that it is, and that it requires more than a marginal amount of training, focus and confidence. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I can tell you that it is significantly more difficult to accomplish any of it when you're under the weather, particularly because you're asked to do it with a smile on your face.

So Saturday night - I wasn't feeling particularly good. My body was having some fairly serious temperature regulation issues - and even worse, I felt sluggish, which made the pending four hours seem like an eternity laid out before me. But I made the decision to "play" through it. After all, there wasn't anyone there to come off the proverbial "bench" for me. I needed to be there, for my team, for the organization; like Mike was in 1997. But unlike Mike, there would be no post-game montage detailing my heroic effort. No one would speak of my workman-like performance under such uncomfortable circumstances. In fact, I kept it from all but one of my teammates. I suppose I felt, at the time, as though heroics for fame's sake - aren't really heroics at all.

In the end, we did great - and so did the basketball team. It was a great win, with a rowdy crowd, and a great way to spend a Saturday night. As for my performance, the connection to Michael's game 5 grow even more unlikely here... there was no 35 points, and I didn't carry the team on my back. I simply did what was required of me, and I have it on pretty good authority that I did it with such a smile on my face that no one even noticed I wasn't feeling well. So why write? Aren't I simply now asking for fame I'm supposed to be eschewing? No.

As I drove home that night, I found the moral to this story, which I wanted to share. I realized that courage and cowardice are between you and yourself - and no matter how others may label you - you will only feel great or small when measured against the standard you set for yourself.

I have a good friend who consistenly laments her inability to be a super-hero. So I guess this is for her. Even in a town built on public image - I discovered that I'm happy to be a private hero, because that's the only real kind there is.

About the Writer

Glenn T is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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