Reclaiming the Gold

Well, as I write this, it’s nearly midnight on Sunday and though I landed at 9 PM, I’ve only just gotten home – thanks Delta.  Once I finally left the airport the tram guy tried to take me to my car.  Ordinarily that would be very nice, however I apparently forgot to tell him so I was only half in the car when he hit the gas and I had to hop along rapidly for 10 feet until he noticed me.

The one thought that kept me going was the realization that I could finally eat when I got home.  But then I walked in the kitchen and discovered that the refrigerator door was open all weekend.  So scratch that idea.

All that to say, I’m not going to be doing one of my epic long-winded articles tonight. Please, please, don’t be too disappointed. I know it will be tough but there will be more in the future.

Well, now that I spent 140 words on some not so interesting details about my evening, I’ll get to the point.  Congratulations to the Team USA basketball team for winning the gold medal with an exciting win over Spain.

For months we’ve been hearing them referred to as the Redeem Team.  After an embarassing showing in recent years, the coaching staff and team were determined to reestablish Team USA as the best in the world.

So what was it that made this team different than past ones?  Recent teams were certainly not lacking in talent.  They had the stats, but they didn’t have the results.

As many have already pointed out, this team was clear that they wanted to operate as a unit.  The individual style of play and lack of focus that had been present in the past was not going to fly this time.

But it also seemed like there was more to it.  They weren’t playing with ego; they were playing with pride.  And that’s a big difference.

They seemed to realize that this was not just another All Star game.  This wasn’t an exhibition game where each player just tried to be the one to make the most sensational play. They understood that these games demanded more than just going through the motions.

They knew that victory must be earned, not assumed.

Coach K and his staff seem to stress that attitude shift from the very beginning, and the team echoed those statements.  But there’s a big gap between saying the right words and making the right plays.

This team bridged that gap.  And they made their nation and their sport proud as a result.

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