Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never
by Bill Mehlman
I guess we'll have to do the companion piece to the Jack Nicklaus paean.
Obviously, Eldrick Woods. belongs up there in the All-World, Forever concentration rankings. If you saw him limping around Torrey Pines this weekend, sometimes appearing to use his club as a cane to take the pressure off the knee he had surgery on two months ago, you probably saw the ESPN Father's Day commercial. The voice-over is a recording of Tiger's father Earl saying, "I'd say 'Tiger, I promise you, that you'll never meet another person as mentally tough as you in your entire life.' And he hasn't. And he never will."
And, of the handful of athletes on the same plane, one, Michael Jordan, is a close friend of Tiger's. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall when these two hyper-competitive men square off in a "friendly" round of golf? The air must be crackling with intensity. Sure, they're both physical freaks — you gotta have the reaction time and coordination to play on that level. But what sets these two apart is their will. They refuse to lose, refuse to be distracted, refuse to be pushed off course.
I'm not, of course, suggesting that I could will myself to hit a five-iron 200 yards. Or, to be truthful, hit a driver that far on most days. But it's a good thing to have an exemplar to remind us that we can improve our lot to some degree, just by refusing to compromise.
As Winston Churchill, no stranger to depression and learning disabilities, once said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up."
What do you have to lose? Certainly not your self-respect.