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Life is full of good & bad

November 19, 2014

This may come as a complete shock to some people but every life context has its good and bad aspects. Its joys and its frustrations. Most of the world’s people realize this… but sometimes you wonder!

This week’s example is Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. He did not want to talk to the media after a recent hockey game in which his team was embarrassed. However, the NHL policy is that any player or coaching staff member will be available to the media after a game (whether this is a good policy is another discussion). Even more interesting, his former general manager, Brian Burke, defended Kessel against the Toronto media. So Brian Burke, this reminder is for you too.

The good part about playing hockey in Toronto (or any Canadian or Original Six city) is the fact that the fans are passionate about their team and the game of hockey. They cheer like crazy when you succeed. You are a hero! You are recognized wherever you go. They want to know every detail of your life… often so they can replicate it and be like you (and not just the young children).

Yet with all this adoration also comes the down side. When you collapse (recall game 7 vs Boston a couple years ago), they are devastated like young children too! They expect an answer for any question in any game because they care so much about the team. The media’s job is to ask the questions and give you the opportunity to answer. When you don’t do it, they are frustrated or disappointed.

If you want to play hockey in an environment where nobody cares to interview you after a game, then consider the Florida Panthers. If they get 10,000 fans for a game, they celebrate! Any media member who thinks someone will care about their post game report will talk to anyone, not just the multi-million dollar star. You will probably only find a handful of children or adults who know your name as their “hero” and you are fairly safe to go around town without being recognized. Of course, you could smash league records of any kind, and no one in your city will know, and only a few will care. They will have to send reporters from those other cities to promote your accomplishments!

So remember: with every context in life – work, school, family, sports, arts, etc – there is good and bad.

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