Your Monthly Moments from Mimi are coming early, since I can’t think of any impending football moments this month. The NFL Draft delivered bigtime Thursday night. Radio City Music Hall was packed. Last time I was there was the Tony Awards: the place was packed with Broadway insiders and big stars. Last Thursday night, Radio City rocked with loud fans in team jerseys. The best part for me was the ecstatic expressions on the faces of players and parents: “A lifelong dream coming true” AND all the hugging. As each drafted player’s name was called, he came out to greet Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner. In past years, most of them shook hands and there were a few hugs. This time all the young players came out loaded for bear – hugging, that is, for many seconds at a time. It was fun watching Goodell try to remain upright as big 350-pound kids almost knocked him over. And we were reminded they are just kids. Some looked especially dazed. Shae McLellin from Boise State grew up on a farm in Idaho. He went #19 to my team, duh Bears. My guy from Iowa (my alma mater) went to the Detroit Lions – same division as the Bears. As a girl, I can root for him on the Lions, and the farm boy on the Bears at the same time. No, don’t try to talk me into Fantasy Football right now. I’m a long way from that.
I will admit I have a bit of a crush on RG3. He is such a leader! After he was chosen 2nd, he showed the interviewer his socks – printed, “Go catch your dream.” On the biggest night of his life, he took the opportunity to “send a message to kids,” as he said. Sigh. Of course he did. This is the guy who showed up to Baylor’s Women’s Champion Basketball Finals, to support his school. And he sat in the front row with non-celebs for every game. What a guy.
And if you’re not motivated enough, the LA Clippers came back from a 27-point deficit at the end of the 3rd period Sunday night. They went on a 26-to-1 run in the 4th period to beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the first game of the NBA Playoffs. How do you “play” 14 more minutes, knowing you have that huge mountain to climb, when all the odds are against you? This is how sports inspires me the most. Two parallels for me: one, in my office, calling for business. After three “no’s” (kind of like feeling 27 points behind) do I keep going and get 6 yesses in a row? Er – not often. Second example: onstage, when the audience is not laughing as much as usual. I resist the impulse to just say “the heck with you people – you just don’t get it,” and walk off the stage. No, I have never done that. I dig down deep, not as deep as those NBA players must dig, but deep enough to turn up my intensity to reconnect with that audience and will them to respond. Most times, I win. Sometimes, it’s not in the cards . . . just like in sports.
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