Saturday, November 20, 2010

Be Incredible!

Be Incredible

There is nothing better than a championship. It doesn't matter if it's my college roommate and me in the horseshoe championship of Northeast Missouri State University (which we did win in 1992). Or, a real championship, such as a high school basketball title; championships are special.

To that end, I used to attend as many of the Missouri State high school basketball championships as I could. Every March, my wife and I would make our way to the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus to watch the best of the best play for a chance to experience a dream, wear a medal and call themselves the best.

It's something really, the championship game. Each team is given a corner of the arena. There, teen-agers dressed and painted in school colors pack together to cheer their team. Over the years, we have heard all sorts of cheers. I remember cheers, more like yells and screams, from the cheerleaders from the all boy private prep schools. I recall cheers from cheerleaders with enough team spirit that they may have been pulled for a 'speed' drug test. I recall another cheering squad with as much enthusiasm as the coach's white board. But, the cheer that stands out didn't come from a cheer leading squad, but from a student body and community.with one memorable word.

The game pitted two opposites. The legendary Vashon High School Wolverines from East St. Louis, an inner city type school with a great basketball tradition. They were facing another St. Louis school, a private St. Louis school, known for wealth. The private school had cheerleaders and a very large following, probably filling in over 4,000 seats.

Vashon was much the opposite. Behind Coach Floyd Irons, the team traveled with a fraction of the fans and no cheer squad.'they will have to do their talking on the court,' I thought as the game began with the opening tip.

Both teams were talented. Led by a short and strong point guard, Vashon was poised and in control. The private school was talented as well, and aggressive on defense. The game went back and forth early, with both teams trading baskets. But, by the mid-point of the second quarter, Vashon opened an eight-point lead. After a time out, the private school trapped a Vashon ball handler in the corner. That's when the Vashon crowd, above the noise and screams of the 4,000 fans in the opposite colors could be heard chanting, 'Be incredible.B-E IN-CREDIBLE...Be Incredible, Be incredible." And, right on cue, the ball handler broke the trap, passed to a teammate who found another for an easy basket.

And, that's how the game unfolded. Vashon held on tightly to a ten-point lead, fighting off a talented team and huge opposing crowd. Each time they were challenged, their fans would stand and cheer, "Be incredible, B-E INCREDIBLE. Be incredible, be incredible!"

"It is a very funny thing about life," W. Somerset Maugham once wrote, "if you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it." It has been well over a decade since I watched gold metals being gently placed around the necks of the young Vashon players. I have forgotten the score of the game, the name of the preppy private school and even each team's colors. But, when life is pressing me down and I seem to be double teamed in a corner, I will pause, take a deep breath and recall a cheer from my past. One that pulls and tugs greatness out of me when I don't think it's there. A cheer that is full of confidence in what I can do, even when I'm not. I pause and allow an echo in my head, "Be Incredible, B-E In-credible!'

Matt Forck, CSP & JLW, is a speaker and author residing in Columbia, MO. This story is from Matt's new release called, Check Up From the Neck Up - -101 Ways to Get Your Head in the Game of Life; a book focused on helping the reader increase energy, gain perspective and find and keep balance. To learn more about Matt or to comment on today's story go to:
event planner, event planning, birthday party planner, fun christmas party games, kids say the funniest things about Christmas
best deals on the internet

No comments:

Post a Comment