Politicians and sports stars have a lot in common. When do you walk away? It is a difficult decision. You are generally criticized for whichever road is taken. How many times did Michael Jordan retire? How dreadful was it watch Joe Montana in a Kansas City uniform after being a hero in San Francisco? Eagles castoff, Randall Cunningham found new life in Minnesota. The Giants running back, Tiki Barber is being criticized for walking away at the end of this year. His decision being labeled a locker room distraction.
This brings me to John Kerry and his flubbed joke last week. He was trying to help the party. Unfortunately, his nuances made him come off as an intellectual snob. In my opinion, the only person who should be apologizing to the troops is Georgie Boy. The situation that he put our brave soldiers and Iraqi civilians in is unforgivable. But that was lost in the fervor of the Kerry flub. After he was pushed under the bus by everybody, he quietly returned to safety and solitude of a very quiet D.C.
I attended two rallies this election cycle. You can see how the politicians soaked up the love being offered up by those of us in attendance.
In a sporting event, when an athlete performs well that same love is showered upon him or her. When was the last time your peers cheered when you filed a report? Or performed an endzone dance when you landed a new account?
Walking away from the spotlight and cheers is very hard to do for these competitive high achievers. You have to respect those who walk away at the height of their career. On the other hand, it is heartbreaking to watch a very public implosion when they stick around after their time has come and gone.