2011-10-21 / Commentary

“One More Last Chance”

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation
Mike Cox

In high school, my friend Ronald had one date with a younger girl we knew. He wasn’t too impressed, being somewhat distracted by an onagain, off-again romance with the girl he eventually married. He quickly returned to a more familiar situation.

The young lady was impressed, and kept waiting for him to wake up and ask her out again. He kept not doing that. She felt he was perfect for her and nothing could prevent the hand of fate from slapping him upside his head. After several disappointing drawbacks, she told a friend she was giving him “one last chance”.

The poor, misguided girl became known as Last Chance. If any of my former group happens upon an old high school year book and views her picture, he, or she, will instantly identify her as Last Chance to this day.

Kids back then were consistently cruel to each other. We thought acting superior to someone was a natural thing and knew we would take our turn in the barrel at some point, so we relished not being the target. We didn’t have Ann Curry around to tell us how horrible such a thing was and how important fake self-esteem was. I’m sure we suffered irreparable emotional distress from such antics.

Like most marginal acquaintances in high school, I lost touch with Last Chance. I’m sure she is wandering aimlessly to this day, having been unable to survive the emotional trauma of having a stupid nickname in high school. Ronald, who we all called Dumas, survives nicely.

Vince Gill recorded a song called “One More Last Chance.” I’m not sure if it was inspired by a similar story; there must have been thousands. That song was a pretty big hit for the golden throated performer. Right now there are songwriters all over South Carolina trying to organize lyrics for the latest adventure of the South Carolina football team and last chances.

In case you missed it,

Steven Garcia, who has been given more last chances than Robert Downey Jr, has been permanently dismissed from the Gamecocks. Finally. His latest issue was too much for even him to overcome. Garcia became ineffective as a passer and therefore expendable.

A failed substance abuse test was the declared. His real offense was no longer being able to recognize which jersey his team was wearing. His stats might have been worse had the officials not disallowed unis honoring the military for the Auburn game. The referee said the numbers were too hard to identify. Garcia had trouble identifying the regular black and red jerseys. Ironically, his tribute jersey had Integrity written on the back.

Another strong factor in Garcia’s dismissal was the suddenly excellent play of backup QB Connor Shaw. As long as he was floundering, Garcia was essential and his behavior was acceptable. As soon as Shaw became capable of operating the Spurrier offense, Garcia’s behavior could no longer be tolerated. In today’s competitive sports world, a coach never gives up on talent unless he has equal talent waiting in the wings. Then he gets morally conscious.

Let’s see Vince Gill write a song about that.

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