I’m a big believer in finishing well. In all areas of life. Well, maybe not break-ups. They always went poorly! But as a teacher, my most concerted efforts come in the 4th term, striving to ensure that every student gets the most out of the year and leaves with fond memories.
In the sporting realm, I love when athletes leave when they still have something in the tank, but know that their best is long behind them.
Shane Crawford struggled all 2008 in the AFL for fitness and form. A Brownlow medallist and for a long period of time their standout performer, a sad ending beckoned. Yet he found health and the footy just in time to come off the bench in the ’08 Grand Final, playing amazingly well as the Hawks did the unthinkable against the Cats.
Soon after, amidst the euphoria, he announced his intention to return for another season. Uh oh. Surely he saw the writing on the wall… This would colour how we’d remember him as a player, like far too many before him. Yet in a move away from the norm, Crawford shifted stances and hung up the boots at the perfect time, premiership medallion firmly in hand.
I’m proud of the fact that James Hird won Essendon’s 2007 Best and Fairest in his final season for an incredible 5th time, even garnering Brownlow votes in his final game. I love that Magic Johnson had 20 assists in his final NBA Game, in the Finals against Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, no less. (Twenty assists!?What more could he do?!)
Enter Entourage, yet again!
Mrs YWS and I watched the final series of Entourage over the weekend. Even as the series began, there was a freshness in the script writing complete with more poignant, compelling storytelling.
I can’t think of too many shows that ended well. Friends. X Files. Seinfeld maybe. That’s about it. Part of my frustration with the current system is that shows will pick up second series and beyond if the ratings are there, regardless of the show’s premise. How many of us lasted until the end of Lost? Prison Break, anyone? We grind every ounce out of shows until their ratings fall through the floor, and then the networks unmercifully can them. End of story.
Being a character-driven TV watcher, I was so pleased that Entourage were able to round out the respective stories of each character. Vince. E and Sloane. Ari and his wife. Turtle and his money making. Drama’s career. E and Vince. Ari and ‘Lllllooooyyyddddd’. They tied up the loose ends perfectly. (But yes, I’ll still go see the movie when they make it…)
I’ve gone back and forth in my mind countless times over whether or how to end this blog. Initially, it was thought that the blog would end naturally, with a couple of posts to round off the 12 months. But then the temptations reared their head and I was forced to fend off all the enticements that a world of sport has to offer. Less than 2 months down the path, however, and I can’t help but feel that for the moment, this little baby is sleeping peacefully in the cot.
On one hand, there’s still so much to say about sport and the false lure that it can have, especially on us men. It mirrors a number of our obsessions and distractions in the world around us, and writing about that has been a joy.
Yet the journey has ended … but there’s still more to say!
Can you see the tension?!
I don’t want to be the player whose time is up; where the relevance of the message relating to the year without sport has long since passed.
There are other areas, such as education, the media, life balance, pop culture and the broken system within which our global finances operate that we can delve into. Obviously, the 12 months are over, so the opportunity to engage with that world, identifying the lies that we as a culture are sold and wholeheartedly buy into is too enticing to give up altogether.
So in the coming weeks, ready yourself for a change, maybe even a move. I hope you will continue to come along for the ride. Your support has been fantastic and encourages me to keep on keeping on.
I will wholeheartedly endeavour to be Entourage-esque in how this ends, but I think that after Vince and Ari, Ross and Rachel, and Jerry and Elaine (maybe), I’ve seen enough to know how to do this well.