It aint over till it’s over
BY JOE JOE WRIGHT
With the passing of baseball legend Yogi Berra memories of the rich and colorful history of sports in our culture come flooding to me. Now of course no one ever had as many quoted sayings as Yogi Berra, after all Yogi had an entire language all his own called “Yogi-ism’s”. Let’s see “when you get to a fork in the road take it”, “it’s like dejavu all over again,” oh i can go on and on with Yogi.
The main thing though that seperates Yogi from say todays sports heroes, well let me pause a second give you a Yogi list first. Three time American League MVP, 15 time all-star selection,10 world series rings do you get the picture? Naturally he was a hall of famer and he managed and coached almost 30 years as well.
Yogi Berra was an American. When WWII came Yogi went as did many ball players in that time. Yogi used his fame to support many charities, Yogi was married to the same woman for 65 years. Yogi grew up in an era when men were men and being a sports icon was about setting an example to the youth of our nation. Sadly with his passing there is another nail in the coffin of the “good ole days” of sports. I am from the baby boomer generation and the two generations that have been born since my time will never get it. It is my generations fault we did a poor job of teaching.
Let’s just touch on a few Barry Bonds , Mark McGuire, Ray Rice and on and on the number is almost limitless. Very poor examples of sports icons. You have cheaters, wife beaters, drug abusers, rapist, murders, robbers and a relentless number of just plain thugs.
As of this moment the only active player I can think of who is good example is Peyton Manning. Competetive sports is all about building character, learning to win and how to lose. Coach Peeples said something to me in an article just awhile back, “you don’t get into coaching to make pro athletes, you get into it to make young boys into men.” I firmly believe in that philosphy and I know many of our coaches do to but somewhere as kids get older and into the pros they lose focus on the team and put the light on themselves. We are going to miss you Yogi!! I welcome your comments.