Hitting hard 17
No one likes an Englishman who hits on fifteen when the dealer shows three. Unfortunately, we all have to deal with our little problems in life. The Englishman was mine. It got to the point where I was cheering for him whenever he hit 19 or 20... because he wouldn't take the dealer's bust cards anymore. Funny thing about it was, it was all working fairly well for both of us.
To a point, I think that's what makes the Rudy story so compelling. We can all win, but for some, it's harder than others. Last night I felt a little bit like Rudy. I had to work incredibly hard to make 12's and 13's into winners when Ronald (I think that was his name) was hitting 17 and making it 20. It's the old cliche--overcoming adversity. You can do it if you work hard enough. No one is a loser if they have the heart of a champion.
The odd thing is, as much as we hate hearing cliches, especially in the sports world, we love being a part of them. We love living them. Show me one person who wouldn't want to live out the underdog fantasy and I'll be absolutely shocked. Show me one person who doesn't want to be Stanford, a 40-point dog, when they beat USC or Appalachian St. when they beat Michigan. But those are just the long-odd stories. I can't say I'd complain with being Arkansas over LSU or even Illinois over Ohio State.
Maybe it's that pulling off the underdog cliche is rewarding. You sit in your corner and get told, "You never can. You never will. Give up and go home." Maybe being able to say, "I told you so," is so much a part of human nature.
Maybe it's just as easy as not being believed. Maybe it's not being recognized. You put in the work, you get your ass kicked around and no one sees that you're busting it just as much as anyone else. Finally, when you're on the field you spot that girl on the sidelines and say, "Don't I know you?"
It's the validation of effort that makes Rudy so special. When he wasn't given a chance, wasn't believed, wasn't recognized by anyone, he kept going and kept believing in himself. I think that's it. After all that work you prove to yourself that you're not a failure, that you could do it all along. And maybe that's the most important thing of all.
So, yes, I will hit that 13. And I'll have an eight.