How a Simple Sports Segment Can Become Therapeutic

Last week Washington Wizard’s point guard John Wall was kicked off a plane heading from Las Vegas to Washington D.C;  reports stated that Wall’s friends “caused some trouble” with a fellow passenger, resulting with the airline requesting that the group be removed from the aircraft.

Wall isn’t the first (or the last) athlete to make headlines because of his friends stupid decisions.  Unfortunately, when you become a celebrity or [athlete], your life becomes public knowledge.  What makes life difficult is if a compromising situation arises and it isn’t their fault (but is their friend’s and/or relatives), the headline will begin with their name; which leads to the court of public opinion to make their own judgments, as it has in the case with Wall.

ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd was talking about this incident on his radio show the other day and he made a comment about how friends and the people you bring into your life are going to do one of four things; add, subtract, multiply or divide.  It was an interesting take for sure, but when you sit back and really think about it, he makes a valid point.  Those who bring positivity and purpose are going to both add [to] and multiply your life for the better; whereas those who bring negativity and hardship will subtract and divide your life.

I’ve recently had to end a friendship (not by choice) that lasted almost twenty years.  Looking back on our time together, I realize now that we were heading for an impasse which I had chosen to ignore for a long time.  Using the scale that Cowherd had mentioned on his radio show, I recognized that while I might have been trying to add to their life and make it better, those actions weren’t being reciprocated.  Obviously losing a friend [especially one that you’ve had since grade school] sucks, but once the initial pain dies out and you’re able to reflect on it, there’s a good chance you’ll realize that it happened for a reason; and your life [in time] will be better for it.

This blog was never meant to be a sounding board for my personal life and/or experiences but I felt like it’s warranted given the subject matter.

I found it fascinating that so many sports personalities like Colin Cowherd and Scott Van Pelt were using John Wall’s unfortunate incident as an example of changes and/or experiences that they’ve had within their own friendships.  Van Pelt and Cowherd are geniuses in their field because they’re able to take something as simple as the John Wall story, and engage their audience in a way that will leave them (the audience) reflecting on their own friendships; like I did.  There aren’t many in the media that allow themselves to be vulnerable with their audience; but those that do give their listeners what they’re ultimately after, and that’s transparency.  It’s therapeutic for the listener to reflect back on their own experiences and what they’ve learned from them.

Who would have thought that a small sports story would become a topic could be so reflective?  And those few who[ have the notoriety and following] took the time to look at the core value of this story realized that there was more to it; and in turn helped one listener (in particular) for the better.


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