“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
- Dr. Suess
Willis Reed passed away earlier this week. My earliest “goose bumps” memory is of May 8, 1970, when Willis came limping out of the tunnel in Madison Square Garden to lift his New York Knick teammates to a world championship over the mighty Los Angeles Lakers and some dude named Wilt Chamberlain.
Our grainy, black and white TV and the crappy over-the-air signal it drew down to our farmhouse couldn’t betray the murmur, the buzz and then the ground-shaking roar of the Garden’s capacity crowd, and for a nine-year-old boy who loved basketball and sports in general — the impression was permanent.
I’m not big on “heroes.” I only have one, and He passed a couple thousand years ago. That said, Willis Reed, Tom Seaver, Muhammad Ali — made an impression that shaped the way I’d think, work, and play long after they were done in the spotlight.
Someone is watching us “come out of the tunnel” today. Someone will notice the way we pick up a teammate or whether we don’t.
It probably won’t be broadcasted (although in today’s world, who really knows, right?) and it probably won’t be reviewed on social media 53 years from now. But someone will still be watching. Someone will still notice.
Let’s make it as noteworthy as we can.