you) but let me explain. Dan Marino played for the Miami Dolphins for 17 seasons. He came in as a rookie during the 1983 season, and in 1984 had broken most franchise records and a few NFL records for passing, yards, TD’s, etc. In his second year he led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl, only to be beaten by the Joe Montana led 49ers. Afterwards they asked him about how he felt. His statement was along the lines of “it’s only my second season. I will have other opportunities.”
Before I start this post I need to put out a couple of disclaimers. First off, I know this will come off sounding wrong in few instances, but bare with me, and two, I truly believe that Dan Marino was the best quarterback to play in the NFL from 1980 forward. That being said, let’s move on …
It’s not about winning.
I have been told this over and over again since starting triathlons. I harbor no thoughts of ever winning an age group race, let alone an overall win, but is it wrong of me to want to feel that just once? And I am not talking about finishing 5th in Clydesdales because there were only 5 in the group. I am talking about finishing on the podium in the top 5 because you beat a goodly number of people (like the “old English” word there?). I have seen others finish up there, holding their finisher plaque, and knowing they earned it by actually beating people. I would like that feeling just one time.
In all of my races I get passed more than I pass, so I have grown used to it. I actually started counting them in Augusta and had to stop because it was depressing. So I started counting people I passed. Not that many, but I did pass a few in the last 5 miles, a few of which passed me earlier (I never forget an ass). I do pretty well on the short courses though, and have come very close to a top 5 there (highest was #6) but my group, Clydesdales, which is meant for us “heavier guys” (for my feeling on THAT term see one of my first posts HERE), can get some pretty good athletes in them. The bothersome thing about my grouping is that, while it is meant for us weight challenged athletes, more often than not it is used by age groupers who are very tall and very muscular but fit into the weight limits as a way of “placing”. This season USAT has changed the weight from 200+ to 220+. Hopefully this will weed some of these people out of the group and give the rest of us a chance. I have already noticed a change in the listing at St. Anthony’s. Last year there were over 50 men in the Clydesdale group. This season, as of today, there are 32. Big change eh?
So I look at this as a “Marino Syndrome”. I know some here are not followers of the NFL (all three of
Marino never went to another Super Bowl.
He played in MANY playoff games. Went on to be come the most prolific passers the game has ever seen, but always fell short of the Championship. He retired after getting beat by the Jaguars 62-7.
The question that always comes up when watching retrospectives on the greatest quarterbacks of all times that, while he was a great QB and a great passer, he never won a championship. A lot of things attributed to that. A lack of defense on Miami. No running back. The fact that he played during an era that had Joe Montana, John Elway, and Jim Kelly. But the burden of no rings always falls at his feet. Does the fact that he never won diminish his standing?
In many eyes it does.
So will the fact that I may never stand on the podium as a triathlete diminish my attempts or ability?
I know this is something I should not concern myself with, but it does play in my head from time to time. I know my coach is going to crawl all over me for even thinking like this, but it does occupy my thoughts at times. It is very frustrating to train train train, feel you have it down, then get out to a race and watch person after person pass you. Especially those that you have been around while training and you know you have out worked them. Does this make me a bad person, that I feel envious?
Maybe … but I guess I just need to keep plugging away … and maybe at some point the results will match the effort.
And maybe not … and will that alter the way I look back at this time in my life when I can no longer do it at all?
I think too much!
As another side note, back to the Dolphins, this season they are changing their “brand” with new uniforms and a new logo. The logo is to the left. Those of you that are football fans, what do you think of this change?