Suite Life

PASSION or Participation Ribbons?


I understand that sports at a young age should be fun.  Learn the fundamentals and have fun.  At the end of the season, congratulate the participants and make some future goals. However, I passionately believe that we should get rid of participation ribbons. There needs to be a goal.  Not just to participate!  Participation ribbons do not help fuel the burning desire to succeed.  It only promotes participation.  Whether the goal is to win, to provide for your family, to run a mile under 10 minutes or attract a mate, there NEEDS to be a goal, one that takes passion to reach.

I am not in favor of athletes bringing attention to themselves to demonstrate that they are bigger than the game or team they are on.  But if a player plays the game with passion to show his burning desires to reach the overall team goal to win – RIGHT ON!  LeBron James no question plays with passion.  He turns into beast mode and becomes this unstoppable force as the best player in the world.

California Chrome owner Steve Coburn had a candid rant at Belmont Stakes after a failed Triple Crown attempt. He has a valid point and used his earned platform to share his opinion that the other horses in the Triple Crown should have to run in all of the races.  California Chrome faded and displayed that he was tired. Mr. Coburn said, “If a horse can’t get enough points to run in the Kentucky Derby, you can’t run in the other races, the other horses should not be allowed to rest and then run a fresh race leading to an unfair advantage.”

I found him, at 61 years old, well-spoken, intelligent, full of life and passion.  I don’t agree with his statements, but still, I love that Coburn showed his burning desire for success.  He is allowed to share his feelings however he wants.  But really, that is what makes the Triple Crown so elusive, that the Triple Crown horse wins and runs in all of the races.

David M. Buss of Free Press shares that every human alive is an evolutionary success story.

“If any of our ancestors had failed to survive an ice age, a drought, a predator, or a plague, they would not be our ancestors. If any had failed to cooperate with at least some others in the group or dropped below a minimal position in the social hierarchy, they would have met certain death by being cast out from the group. If even one had failed to succeed in choosing, courting, and keeping a mate, the previously inviolate chain of descent would have irreparably broken, and we would not be alive to tell the tale.” Each of us owes our existence to thousands of generations of successful ancestors. As their descendants, we have inherited the passions that led to their success — passions that drive us, often blindly, through a lifelong journey in the struggle for survival, the pursuit of position, and the search for relationships.

We usually think of passion as restricted to sex or love, the burning embrace or constant craving. But it has a broader meaning, referring to the drives and emotional fires that propel us in our quests through life. They sometimes glow quietly, but at other times they burst into full flame. They range from tranquil devotion to violent eruption. Their expression yields life’s deepest joys, but also the cruelest suffering. And although we commonly think of passion as a force opposed to reason and rationality, something to be tamed or overcome, passions when properly understood have a crystalline logic, precise purpose, and supreme sensibility.

The drives that stir us out of bed at dawn and hurl us headlong into our daily struggles have two sides. On the positive side, passions inspire us to achieve life’s goals. They impel us to satisfy our desire for sex, our yearning for prestige, and our quest for love. The dazzling plays of Shakespeare, the mesmerizing art of Georgia O’Keeffe, and the brilliant inventions of Thomas Edison would not exist if passion had not stirred them from repose and impelled creation. Without passion, we would lie listless in bed, for there would be no motivation to do anything at all.”

I realize this is deep, but I believe that Mr. Buss writes passionately too.

The point is that passion is necessary.  We built this country on passion.  History proves passion is why the United States exists.  For many, sports are passion.  California Chrome’s owner Steve Coburn has passion.  LeBron James has passion.

Steve Colburn should not have to apologize for what he said about the Triple Crown rant.  He showed a burning desire to succeed, he was candid…real. I LOVED IT!

LeBron James is more than demonstrating that he has passion and desire for his TEAM to succeed their overall goal, to win another world championship. Keep it up!

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