A Christmas Gift Worth Remembering

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I must admit, I’m not a big fan of the “Your Roundup” blog on our newspaper’s Web site.

It’s a good idea and probably is needed but, in my opinion, there are a few users who spoil the blog for almost everyone with their negative, unconstructive and off-putting postings. In fact, some are downright cruel and must be pulled off by the site administrator.

The pessimistic attitudes of those bloggers came to mind recently while I was thumbing through a book entitled “Coach.”

The book was a Christmas gift more than a decade ago from then-fellow teacher Gloria Joe.

English statesman Benjamin Disraeli penned the quote that caught my eye, reminding me of the spiteful bloggers.

He wrote, “How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”

That sums up those few who use “Your Roundup” only as a forum for their disparaging and highly erroneous condemnations.

Great coach’s gift

I treasure the book Gloria gave me because it contains a wealth of inspiration and laughter that includes hundreds of quotations from great coaches like Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Casey Stengel, Phil Jackson and a number of other sports and nonsports personalities.

It is the ideal book for a coach who is looking for just the right quote to make a point or motivate on game or practice day.

It’s also a book to be enjoyed, which I have since receiving it as a gift.

Before my retirement from public education in 2004, I often pulled thought-provoking quotes, some of which were simply humorous, from the book and wrote them on the bulletin board for class or team discussion.

There are some which I remember really captured the attention of students and athletes.

They are:

“Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.” — Socrates.

“Genius: It’s 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. No one has ever drowned in sweat.” — Lou Holtz

“If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.” — Willie Davis

“I always turn to the sports page first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures.” — Earl Warren

“Explain the concept of death very carefully to a child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.” — U.S. Army slogan

“In life as in football, fall forward when you fall.” — Arthur Guitterman

“Be courageous, it’s one of the few places left uncrowded.”

—Anita Roddick

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” — Benjamin Franklin

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw

“You never really lose until you stop trying.” — Mike Ditka

“You always pass failure on the way to success.” — Mickey Rooney

“Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.” — Chuck Berry

“Till I was 13, I thought my name was ‘shut up’.” — Joe Namath

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” — Vince Lombardi

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who never enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

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