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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