I suspect that many of you are very tired today, having watched the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series until 12:47 and beyond (who could fall asleep after a game like that). A few comments:
1. Alfred Lord Tennyson in his famous poem, In Memoriam AHH, wrote, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. And that is because having passion is a critical part of being a fulfilled human being. What sets us apart from the animal world is that we have passion and a soul and one without the other simply doesn’t work. The recent book, Grit by Angela Duckworth, demonstrates this point by presenting evidence that having passion may actually be more important than intelligence in predicting success in life. And it certainly adds more enjoyment to life. Remember that the word fan is short for “fanatic”. It means to be just a little crazy about a team. Our fanaticism for our sports teams adds spice to our lives and makes everything just a bit more meaningful.
2. The media will make a big fuss about how Clevelanders suffer more disappointment with their sports teams and that we are perennial losers. This is just drama. It sells newspapers and makes for good internet fodder. But it is simply not true. For a city with less than 400,000 people, it is remarkable that we have major league baseball, football and basketball teams as well as a high level minor league hockey team. We are a big league city that supports all of its teams, even the hapless Cleveland Browns. We should be proud of what we have and take this opportunity to appreciate that we have the teams for which we can be fanatics.
3. It really is about how you play the game. Our Cleveland Indians may not have won Game 7 but they were the Little Engine that Could all year, consistently outperforming teams from cities with much larger fan bases. No one expected the Indians to do much of anything this year. They lost their best hitter for the year, their catcher most of the year, and their number 2 and 3 pitchers for most of the year. And yet, they never whined and taking the lead from their truly elegant coach, they quietly and without a lot of respect (49/50 states picked the Cubs to win the World Series) went about winning games. Even down 5-1 in the fifth inning, they came back and tied the game. And even down 2 runs in the 10th, they came back and scored a run. The 2016 Cleveland Indians taught us a huge lesson in teamwork, humility and pride, one that is not easily matched.
The take home message from this year’s version of the Cleveland Indians is a very powerful one for us all and especially for our children. We should all be kind to each other today because we are all a bit more tired than we would like to be. And we should hold our heads up tall today and throughout the cold winter season. There is always next year. And the CAVS are 4-0. Go Cleveland!
Shelly D. Senders, MD