By Jim McCarthy Jun 7, 2012 0 comments

One True Heart

I heard it too.

While watching the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat in stunning fashion last night on television, I heard a little boy who was sitting near the tunnel where his (I’m assuming) favorite team, the Miami Heat were walking off the court, after being thoroughly beaten, saying this (listen in the background, ignore the bloviating commentator):

Good job, good effort.

They had just lost, and rather ignominiously.  But here were his basketball heroes, and if he is anything like the little kids I have known and coached, he saw the opportunity to lift them up when they were down.

While an arena full of adults and pundits were in a race to figure out how to heap scorn on them.

But here’s the thing.  It’s a game.  It’s meant to be fun.  There are no real consequences.  It’s not to say they don’t matter to us, because they most certainly do.  They are amazing, spectacular, and they delight us.  But remember that the only reason to care is because it’s fun.

So this little boy (I assume, based on his voice) did for his big, rich, and famous heroes what somebody probably once (or many times) did for him: he encouraged them, or at least he tried.  One lone little voice saying “you’ll get ’em next time, guys!  I’m with you, win or lose!”

In other words, a true heart fan among a sea of sourpusses, grown ups who are supposed to know better and be able to take this in stride, to put it in the category of life in which it belongs, and stop being so bitter about everything all the time.  That’s not fun.  Not fun at all, and given that being a sports fan is something you should do only for fun, why bother?  Why put yourself in a position to be bitter and angry and perturbed and concerned?

Does it make you feel a little ashamed that in your heart you’re not more like this true heart fan?  In a way, isn’t that the person you’d rather be?  Positive, keeping things in perspective, constructive, and loyal to your friends?  If you had to choose to be around people like that or people who were negative, fickle, prone to making mountains out of molehills, and always tearing others down, who would you want to be around?

So by chance in the waning seconds of a basketball broadcast, in the background, we heard the voice of somebody we’d probably rather be and probably rather experience from other people.  That was lucky for us, but the fact that it felt so rare is also a condemnation.

As Willy Wonka misquoting Shakespeare said, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

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