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2012 season recap / statement

by Adrian Yearwood. November 2012

I’m gonna throw some names on the table. Ghandi. Terry Fox. Jesus. The Tiananmen Square guy.​ 

Wow. You are probably thinking to yourself “Damn, those are some epic dudes”. If this is the case then well done, you are correct. The four extraordinary men whom I have chosen for this list are linked together in a very special way. Each one of their lives; or more specifically, each one of their legacies can be accurately described using lyrics from “Tubthumping”, Chumbawumba’s only North American hit: “I get knocked down/But I get up again/You're never going to keep me down [repeat ad nauseum]”. Well said, Chumbawumba, thank you.

These men were FIGHTERS. Even Ghandi, who was quite adamantly not a fighter. Allow me to elaborate:

Jesus. Now I don’t mean to be indelicate but... the dude got rocked. Whipped to shreds, nailed to a couple of posts, starved, and then stabbed a few times on top of that. Then Mel Gibson made a movie about him. But you know what? Not even a fatal dose of that fabled Roman hospitality could keep our boy down. He holed up in his cave, took a couple of days R&R, let people mull things over a little bit – all of a sudden he’s back stronger than ever like nothing happened. Ready to build cabinets and work miracles like it’s nobody’s business. That’s what happens when you’ve got your EYES ON THE PRIZE. FIGHTER.

The Tiananmen Square Guy (TSG). Damn. If it sucked in the movie Old School for Frank the Tank to look back and find that nobody had gone streaking with him, imagine how much it must have sucked for this dude. Freedom fighting is clearly not a team sport in China. That’s what makes the TSG such a boss though – he clearly didn’t give a sh*t about that. Up against a line of 18 tanks, carrying nothing but two SHOPPING BAGS, he manned up, planted his feet, and said “Whatup China? Power to the motherf*cking people.” FIGHTER.

Ghandi. Now I feel for Ghandi. I feel for him every time I look at the bottom of an empty bag of Doritos and wonder where they all went. Or when Tolya is cooking us dinner every night in Florida. I mean, imagine not having that luxury. Or better yet – imagine having that luxury and choosing not to exercise it. That’s what it was like for the G-man when he said “Eating? Yeah I’m just gonna’ hold off on that until people stop being assholes”. The guy couldn’t turn a corner without getting harassed and/or thrown in jail by the Brits. But he stuck to his guns (metaphorically of course) and helped India finally achieved independence half a year BEFORE he died. How many tragic stories are there where a dude spends his whole life working towards something that happens a few years after they’re gone? Not this guy. And look at India and Pakistan now! Best of friends... *cough*. Still though, FIGHTER.

Terry Fox. This dude was a baller, both literally and figuratively. Before his leg was amputated due to bone cancer he was a pretty solid basketball player in highschool and college. Did the amputation slow him down on the court? Well to be perfectly honest yes, I imagine it slowed him down significantly. BUT the guy went on to win 3 consecutive national titles in wheelchair basketball, the first of which he played during his chemotherapy treatment. Respect. But he wasn’t quite done there. Missing one of the two limbs many would consider essential to running, he decided to run ACROSS CANADA to raise money for cancer research. He filled up two water bottles with Atlantic Ocean water (one as a keepsake and one to dump into the Pacific upon arrival) and started hobbling. What a boss. 5400 kilometres and 143 days later he was forced to stop because the cancer had spread throughout most of his body. Are you f*cking kidding me dude? Leave some manliness for the rest of us. FIGHTER.

So what’s the take-home here? To put it simply, each of these guys looked an impossible task square in the face and rose to the challenge. You guys want to kill me? Aw come on bros don’t be like that, turn the other cheek! 18 tanks? Get the f*ck off my street. Eating is an essential function of life? Nahhh. Damn, 1 leg? I should run across the second largest country in the world. IT CAN BE DONE.

Let’s take a look at the last 6 years of GOAT’s history in Sarasota:
2007 – beat Chain in the quarters, get spanked by Bravo in the semis but still end up tied for 3 rd. Feeling good.
2008 – lose to Chain in the quarters, beat Ring for placement and then lose to Revolver for a 6th place finish. Still going strong.
2009 – lose to Bravo in the pre-quarters, lose to Bhodi for placement, then lose to Madison Club to end up 13th. Epic collapse.
2010 – lose to PoNY at Regionals and don’t even make it to Sarasota. Low point for GOAT. Spirits are down bigtime.
2011 – lose to Doublewide in quarters, lose to Southpaw for placement, then lose to Madison Club and take 8th. Is the GOAT back?
2012 – lose a close one to Doublewide in the quarters, beat Chain so soundly on Thursday that they forfeit the placement game, then lose to Machine for 6th. Looks like we’re back, boys.

Look at that. 3rd, 6th, 13th, DNQ, 8th, 6th. We got knocked down, but we got up again. We are FIGHTERS. Some have called us “chokers”... f*ck that. We’ve certainly lost some heartbreakers but sometimes that’s just how things go. The point is that we GOT BACK UP. How easy would it have been, after not qualifying for Sarasota in 2010, and then after losing so brutally to Furious at CUC2011, to just lay down and die? Too easy. The herd doesn’t work like that though – when we get pushed we push back.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and put us in a list with Jesus, Ghandi, Terry Fox, and the TSG. Those guys are supreme examples of what it is to be a fighter. As I said earlier, they looked an impossible task in the face and manned up. That is the crucial difference. I don’t know about you but I don’t think the task we’re facing is impossible at all. We’re right there. We had the eventual champions on the ropes bigtime. We were a hair away from beating the #1 ranked team in the country at Regionals. When we’re on we are f*cking on. It’s the small adjustments to strategy, mental preparedness, fitness, technique etc. that’ll take us over the edge at this point. The herd is coming back for you next year Sarasota. Be ready.

Lastly I just want to leave you with something Mahatma Ghandi once said: “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”. We want GOAT to be better next year? Enough talking. We need to get out there and better ourselves. Trust your teammates. GOAT.

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