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Tuesday, June 03, 2003

As you may have noticed from this blather-riffic content lately, I believe we're living in some crucial times. But all moments and all times are crucial. As the Scripture says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." May it be that we can show His glory in peace.
I have great hope for this Middle East peace process, and its developments. If indeed great people can indeed have an impact, if they can change the course of history, then I place a great deal of hope and trust in the President of the United States. In these moments, he has great opportunity to use his great power (and will) for the benefit of all. Peace through strength, he says. Well, Mr. President, the strength you need now is not from bombs or cruise missiles, but the strength of character, and of resolve. As others in the blogosphere have noted, the US is the prime mover. Short of the Israelis and Palestinians, no other party will act so decisively one way or another, as will the United States, and its leader.
I just watched an Andre Agassi tennis match at the French Open. He was facing this Argentine named Guillermo Coria. They say Coria's good, but it has really got me thinking. I saw Agassi try every shot in the book, and this kid had the answer every time. Have you ever watched the great tennis players finish a point? They will hit a shot and know that there's no way the ball's coming back. It's that arrogance, the arrogance of high skill. Yet Coria took the biggest punches, and hit back. I waited for the kid to crack; I waited for The Great Player to show this upstart why he was Andre Agassi. But it never came. When the match hung in the balance, there was no fire in the eyes of Agassi. I've seen it with Sampras, and Greg Maddux, like I've never seen: Oldness. I know you're saying, "All the greats get old," but it's deeper. It's not physical, it's mental. If Randy Johnson pitches until he's 45 and his arm falls off, tough. But if he loses the will to dominate, that's when he (and the other greats) should walk away. It's been difficult to watch sports lately, witnessing all my heroes not only lose a step, but lose their edge. I am a sports fan, and a melodramatic one at that. We're the folks who love Bob Costas and his unique ability to turn a sporting event into The Most Important Event Ever. People might say, "I like players making great plays," but I'll go further. I like the great players making great plays. The best moments in sports happen when you turn to a buddy and say, "See, just like I said he would." That is, when a great player silences his naysayers one more time. Like Andre and Pete did at the U.S. Open last year. Jack Nicklaus at the '86 Masters. I want to see that again.