I tell you...think of it this way...imagine you're playing marbles with your friend as a seven year old. He's good at marbles and so are you. You have to figure out a way, some way, to get the marbles on your table. It's going to be tough because life is tough. Life's a struggle. You struggle. I struggle. Everybody struggles. Tom Sawyer struggled.
The game of marbles is about you, but it's also about more than you. It has to be about more than you. Life has to be about more than you. If you don't consider everything involved in this game that matters, you are not going to see why it's so important. Your opponent matters. Respect your opponent. Respect the fact that you're alive today. Respect the game of marbles. If you win the game, that's great. But it has to be about more than marbles. It has to be. You have to know that. You have to understand that. I really want you to understand that.
Ten cents if you can guess who might say something like this among the coaches remaining in the March Madness tournament. No, it's not Rick Pitino. No, it's not Coach K. They're too cool to say things like this.
It's Marquette coach Buzz Williams, who masterminded his Golden Eagles to a near-perfect game last night. They shell-shocked favored Miami and advance to the Elite 8, and Buzz's defensive and rebounding game plan were flat out overwhelming to contend with.
If you've been listening to Buzz-and if you haven't you really need to--you have heard him draw a comparison between Hamburger Helper and a nice juicy steak. He was explaining to the press that his team is more like Hamburger Helper than a juicy steak because of the way they play. They're not pretty and high-end. They're not a group of dazzling shooters or slick tuxedo ballplayers. Those are the basketball equivalent of the steak. His players are rough and tumble, bumpers, blue collar-ish, not eye candy but rather Hamburger Helper-like, sort of middle-tier meat. It tastes good and all, but you wouldn't necessarily want people seeing you eat it.
His Hamburger Helper reference--which I feel sure has never been used by any coach of any sport ever--illuminates Buzz's typical train of thought. Last season during his presser after his team advanced to the Sweet 16, he cited some poem about a candle stick maker. I still don't get that one but remember it to this day. It didn't matter if I understood; all that mattered was that Buzz was talking and I was riveted.
I really want you to understand me. I really do.
Welcome to a newfangled school called "Life Lessons With Buzz." On Sundays during the basketball season he holds a meeting for his team titled "Life Lessons With Buzz." Basketball talk is not the focus. Life is. Pretty broad topic but Buzz can handle it. Life is his wheelhouse.
I would pay good cash for admission to these meetings. Regardless of the topic, Buzz would captivate me. Imagine the subjects he might raise, the images he might conjure up, the metaphors and similes he might use. You might learn about witch hunts or Pandora's Box. You might come to understand better what anti-disestablishmentarism is all about or the War of 1812. You might find yourself picturing an ice skating rink in Canada, or a type of pudding, or a lizard, or his thoughts on the movie "On Golden Pond."
You would be under the spectacular spell of Buzz the Beautiful.