Look at Yourself After Watching This

Says the video description on Youtube.

Phrases that come to mind: thankful, and making the best out of what we have and are given.

Metta World Peace

...Formerly known as basketball player Ron Artest.

He officially got his name changed today, which means that the back of his jersey, which on the Lakers jersey usually is emblazoned a player's last name we'd read "World Peace" instead of "Artest."

Quite the message to imbue in our mindsets as we watch games, I like it.

From the LA Times:

Anyone now making his acquaintance will be meeting Metta World Peace. Those on a first-name basis can call him Metta, while those a little further removed can buy jerseys with his last name of World Peace stretched across the back.

World Peace's publicist, Courtney Barnes, said his client had been contemplating the switch for years, "but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational." Metta is a Buddhist term that means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.

I first heard of Metta World Peace as Ron Artest from the college St. John's. He was a wacky player, but I knew I was a big fan already. Then, the post-Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls drafted him, and he became a favorite player of mine, even in the days when this team was winning 15 games.

He established himself as a tough defender, a bit of a Kobe stopper. He sort of become known as the guy who broke Michael Jordan's ribs.

I was pretty sad when we traded him.

Then it started to seep out to the world that he was quite talented. He became established in the playoffs and his defensive prowess was something seen by more people.

It also started to seep out to the world that he was kind of crazy. There was a story that as a rookie he applied to Circuit City to get an employee discount. He apparently used to drink hennessy during halftime at Bulls game.

Then it almost became an established fact that he was crazy: he became known for his role in a brawl during a game in Detroit.

He was suspended an entire season without pay, which I thought was harsh. He was dismissed as a malcontent, a crazy, a label I didn't really like, cause I'd followed him for a while.

No matter, in retrospect.

He's slowly but surely built up his reputation again, first in Sacramento, then in Houston, and now as the infectiously happy championship-winning Los Angeles Laker.

And now World Peace.

Patch Adams: Being a Prick to Get Things Done

One dialogue I've always remembered and has shaped my attitude towards graduate school: you don't need to be a prick to get things done.

Best embodied and lesson made most memorable by the movie Patch Adams, based on the real-life medical school experiences of a doctor by that name.

In one scene there's a heated exchange between the easygoing, heavy-joking, radical-thinking Patch Adams and his uptight, born-to-be-a-doctor roommate, Mitch.

Patch: Why don't you like me? You're a prick, and I like you.

Mitch: Because you make my effort a joke. I want to be a doctor. This isn't a game to me! This isn't play time! This is serious business! I have it in me to be a great doctor!

In order to do that I have to sacrifice if I want to be better.

Patch: Better than me, hmm?

Mitch: I will save lives that could otherwise not have been saved. Now I could be like you and go around laughing and have a good time haha, but I prefer to learn. Because the more I learn the more likely I will have the answer at a crucial moment and save a life.

You say I'm a prick? You say I'm a prick? You know maybe I am. But you ask the average person when death comes knocking at their door whether they want a prick on their side or some kindergarten teacher who's gonna kiss their ass.

Because when that day comes, I want the prick! And so will you.

Patch: You know I forget how young you are Mitch, that you think you need to be a prick to get things done. You actually think that that's a new idea.
The scene in question begins at 45:22 in the video below.

Dennis Rodman

One of the most misunderstood pro athletes ever.

I first knew him through my basketball cards. I knew he was part of the Bad Boy Pistons that rivalled my beloved Chicago Bulls. I knew that he shared a birthday with my grandma.

I also knew that when the Bulls got him in October 1995 for freekin' Will Perdue, I knew the Bulls were going to be good.

How good?

They won a record 72 games.

I always remember how at 6'8, 210 lbs, he was able to render useless a 23-year old 7'1, 300 lb Shaquille O'Neal.

The video and song below represents his style of play: ugly, but pretty goddamned effective. We always expected him to make the dirty, but key plays. To a certain extent, I play kinda like him, except chopping off a little over a foot of height and various piercings and tattoos.

Recently, he was inducted into the basketball hall of fame.

He gave an intensely emotional speech, coming down from a bit of a wild, yet enigmatic public persona.

Paulino Alcantara

As a Filipino who came very late to soccer and likes the big bad Barcelona squad in the Spanish "la liga", it's quite something to know that the all-time leading scorer is a Filipino!  Paulino Alcantara!

Derrick Rose's First MVP Speech

22 years old and the Most Valuable Player award, the highest individual honor in the NBA, and a heartful shout-out to his mom at 5 minutes into the video.

I hope to do this with all the important folks in my life some day.

Stephen Colbert's Northwestern Commencement Speech

Key Quotes:

  • Thankfully, dreams can change. If we all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.
  • If you do get your dream, you are not a winner.
  • Now there are few rules in improv...You are not the most important person in the scene. Everybody else is. And if everybody else is more important than you are, you will naturally pay attention to them, and serve them...No one is leading, you're all following the follower, serving the servant, you cannot win improv.  And life is an improvisation.  You have no idea what's going to happen next and you are mostly just yanking ideas out of your ass as you go along.
  • And like improv you cannot win your life...
  • In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love, because service is love made visible.  If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community.  If you love money, you will serve your money.  And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself...and only have yourself.  So no winning.  Instead try to love others and serve others, and find those who will love and serve you. 

Guile's Cowardly Speech

I loved Guile's theme song and how noble it sounded. In my later years of studying US history, the theme song reminded me of FDR.

The choppy video below contains neither nobility, the theme song, or FDR.

Greatest Speech Ever

I don't know if it's the "greatest speech ever", but the images are stark, and the content is worth listening to.