I watched an interview today that resonated very deeply within me.
I greatly enjoy watching the eponymously titled “” on ESPN and today Dan’s guest interview was Jim Abbott.
If you don’t know who Jim Abbott is then I will provide a brief description. Jim Abbott attended and was a starting pitcher for the University of Michigan baseball team from 1985 to 1988. He won the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s best amateur athlete in 1987 becoming the first baseball player to ever win the award. As a member of Team U.S.A. he won a gold medal in the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Jim went on to be a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball for a decade playing for the California Angels, the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, and the Milwaukee Brewers. In 1991, Abbott won 18 games with the Angels while posting an ERA of 2.89 and, finishing third in the American League Cy Young Award voting. In 1993, as a New York Yankee Jim threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Abbott never won more than 18 games in a season again and in his final three years of pitching he was 9-26. Jim Abbott reluctantly retired in 1999 with a strong feeling of personal disappointment that he had failed to fulfill his career aspirations.
What makes Jim Abbott’s story so extra-special? Well, you see, .
So during his interview today with Dan Le Batard, Jim was promoting his new autobiography titled “IMPERFECT: An Improbable Life” and Dan asked him, “Jim, what revelation was there for you in writing this book?” To which Jim answered,
“My revelation in writing the book was that we find ourselves in failure.
I’ve always thought success had been so much a part of who I was, and to lose and fail like I did, it helped me to understand who I was. It helped me to understand that I don’t have to be what other people expect me to be. You can be who you are. ..and how you value yourself doesn’t depend on someone else’s viewpoint.”
Jim Abbott, in my opinion, is an amazing example of imperfect perfection. There aren’t enough heroes these days, but I personally just rediscovered one.
GOLF is unlike any of the other major sports in one significant way.
All the other main sports have defense and offense and whoever scores the most wins!
In Basketball, they used to employ the “four corners “ offense as a defense to keep the other team from scoring baskets. Now days they can’t do this nor can they play defense.
In Baseball, the object of half the game is to keep the other team from scoring runs when they’re at bat, but no matter what you do, you can only score runs when you’re at bat…or drinking beer and playing bouree in the locker room..
In Hockey, whoever wins the most fights and scores the most goals wins. Defense matters, but ultimately the winner is the team that scores the bloodiest goals.
Soccer is exactly the same as Hockey except no one ever scores and thousands of drunk people die.
And Football is the only major sport where you can score on defense. They actually say that “Defense wins championships”. But the truth is that the team that permanently debilitates the most opponent brains and scores the most touchdowns wins championships.
Pool, Darts, Badminton, Jai Alai, Farmville, Poker, Rugby, Bowling, Horseshoes, Words with Friends, Snowboarding, Volleyball, boxing, MMA, Tennis, Angry Birds. It’s all about scoring!
Now consider GOLF. Golf is about NOT scoring! There is no defense and the object of the offense is to score as little as possible and less than all your opponents.
So I was thinking, when you’re playing golf, why not just not play? Lowest score wins. You score a zero and beat anyone over par. Easily!
I couldn’t have been the first person to think of this. Could I?