I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

–Michael Jordan

Chapter 9. Mediocrity, or powerhouse upstarts never appealed to this writer…

Medi­oc­rity, or pow­er­house upstarts never appealed to this writer, my grow­ing pen­chant for actu­al­ity tables in every­thing that mat­tered, every­thing in its right­ful place, sported vis­ceral mus­cle all its own, but I was com­pelled to the awe­some place where rock solid dynas­ties swooned to the Icar­ian mys­ter­ies a sud­denly mol­e­c­u­lar under­dog brought into the scheme, a seem­ingly spon­ta­neously self-aware squad grasp­ing at a sea­son of great­ness, the mav­er­ick five, nine, eleven, burst­ing from nowhere they had ever been before, the Cin­derella team with the spec­tac­u­lar break, the heart­break kids with new invin­ci­bil­ity, max­i­miz­ing the oppor­tu­nity to script them­selves straight into the High Books, a fab­u­lous unbreach­able year and a stat sheet no man could take away. Not so with polit­i­cal dynas­ties. I barely knew such mat­ters existed. I made day on the dirt road dynasty, a mar­ble poor kid from nowhere smart enough to think maybe he was going some­where, equipped with the knowl­edge that not just any­where would do hav­ing grow­ing up fos­tered by the clay and oys­ter shells of coastal Geor­gia, the one red­light between his­tor­i­cal Darien and next county soon going per­ma­nently amber as this town of 1600 souls was con­tract­ing thanks to the com­ple­tion of the Inter­state and the ramp just beyond the Bennett’s out Cox Road a mile or so par­al­lel to US 17 upon which the town was built. Let’s just say I was not a polit­i­cally pre­co­cious kid. Obser­vant, not wholly igno­rant to the ways of local­iz­ing power, I can­not deny how­ever, I just was not pre­co­ciously advanced in city, state, or national pol­i­tics until much later in life.

Aged eight years, I sud­denly became aware of sports when the county McIn­tosh estab­lished a Lit­tle League pro­gram for the first time.

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