Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Success = Pressure = ?

Last week we watched 3 premiere athletes crumble under pressure. Tiger Woods, Sidney Crosby, then of course LeBron James in game 5. He posted a triple double in game 6 but still had the apathetic/defeatist attitude of game 5 and his team was eliminated.

Its shocking that these guys weren't able to deliver under pressure. They're arguably the best at their respective sports, have built successful track records and have succeeded under pressure many times. Perhaps more shocking then them not succeeding was they way way they were vilified for it. Fans and media people consistently blasted them out, with LeBron getting the worst of it. A little uncalled for if you ask me. What people fail to realize/acknowledge is that there is a such thing as Too Much Pressure.

This was certainly the case for LeBron. He's been a phenom since age 13. Back then up to now he has dealt with Jordan comparisons (this doesn't help). He was drafted by his hometown team and expected to be the savior of a city with no championships since 1964 and several sports heartbreak since then. Then there's the media fueled duel with Kobe. This was the year, his 7th season (just like MJ,) he has the best team of his his career, a team many felt was the "best" in the league, the overwhelming favorite to win it all. The back to back MVPs Awards. His pending free agency. A lot of pressure.

Perhaps the most pressure causing thing for LeBron, as well as the other two, was their Success. Their success led to our expectations, adding more pressure. That's how its goes though. If you are successful at something people then expect you to continue to be successful at it. However its never enough to simply be successful. When your successful the exceptions become greater: greater success. The result of these greater expectations are sometimes greater success but always more pressure for the individual expected to perform. What happens if they don't?

We saw last week with these guys that failure under pressure is not taken lightly. As I mentioned earlier they were vilified by media and fans. This worries me, because in all actuality they are just athletes. Their successes or lack there of are not matters of life and death. If they were treated so badly how does that translate to us? I have career aspirations that will indirectly and in some case directly impact people's lives (or deaths). The same can be said for almost all of my friends. In addition to that pressure we also have to deal with several other levels. Were black. We may be the only ones from our families/communities to have gone to school. We are being counted on to make a difference, to change the world. That's a lot of pressure.

Is all funny because one of my favorite songs is "Pressure" by Lupe Fiasco (ft Jay-Z). The chorus talks about doing everything for someone else to take the pressure of of them. This is certainly how I live my life, which as you can read is problematic, but I do nonetheless. Another one of my favorite songs is "Success" by Jay-Z (ft Nas.) This song is all about the pressures that comes with certain levels of success. These two tracks (featuring 3 of my favorite artists) really help put this idea of Success = Pressure into perspective for me. Of course I plan to be successful despite the pressure, very successful in fact. As do all of my friends. My only worry is will it be enough? How much success is needed to eliminate pressure? The truth is that at some point there will be Too Much Pressure. So what do we do? What will go in the equation in place of the question mark: SUCCESS = PRESSURE = ?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This woman means the world to me, don't know where I'd be without her. Love you mom!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I learned in Atlanta 4/30-5/3

1) I'm still a Flip Cup bawse

At my boy's bday shindig Friday night I jumped on the flip cup table and did my thing. I'm talking bout first flip everything. I even overcame my anxiety of starting the match off, I'm usually the one closing it out. All in all I reeled of 8 wins...killing the competition. In the process of re-affirming my flip cup supremacy I also re-learned:

2) Don't drink the red punch served in the red cup...

Everyone knows that the red punch from the red cup is lethal. It taste so good you just keep drinking it. Eventually it creeps up on you and fucks you up. I'm normally play flip cup wit brews, this time I didn't. And as you read 8 we talking at least 5 full cups (they don't call me full cup lover for nothing). Add that to the 2 shots of patreezy, 4 brews and the 4 loko (which I shared) and it all equals #TheSuperDrunkJealous

3) Don't get caught slippin round a camera

Courtesy of @LePong-James who twitpic and wrote: #ifmytweetnamewas @fullcuplover I wound change it to @trashcanlover

4) Jason Heyward is the truth

I went to the Braves on Sat 5/1 to see what this 20 year old phenom was about. He didn't disappoint. The youngster went 2-3 with an RBI on his 7th HR of the season (3rd in as many games). What was impressive about the kid was his patience. He had a walk in the game and routinely worked counts, only swinging at pitches he knew he could handle. His HR went to left center, very impressive for a left handed hitter. No wonder everyone had on Heyward T-shirts at the stadium...

5) Money has to much Money

Floyd "Money" Mayweather is one of the greatest boxers ever. His undefeated record speaks for itself. His greatness in the ring has helped him become one of the richest people in the world. He's too rich though. I came to this conclusion bc of 3 things.
First: In almost every scene of 24/7 Floyd is seen pulling out ridiculous stacks of hundred dollar bills out of a book bag.
Second: He wore Prada Roller skates on his date with Chili (I finally watch the show while in Atl).

Third: Saturday night. Instead of coming out to a recording of "For the Love of Money," the great O'Jays anthem, he had the O'Jays perform it live. And don't forget he wore a Mink and Gator ensemble.

6) Black Dynamite is a funny ass movie

If you have not seen this joint, find a way. It was so damn funny. Peep this clip:

Here are some of my favorite lines from the movie:

"Shhhh...Mommas... you gonna wake up the rest of the bitches."

"Bullhorn, can I get you anything?" "Yes, I would like a piece of that ass"

"Hey man, you sent her in here with them titties, what did you expect?"

7) There is nothing like Great Friends

When I started school I was looking to make life-long friends. My trip to Atlanta was a reminder of the great friends that I made during my time in school. I greeted my friends (guy and girl alike) with a great big hug. I hadn't talked to some of them in a long time but picked up conversation like nothing happened. We laughed, joked and argued about sports like we were still in college. When I needed a serious word they were there to deliver life altering conversations. Words can't really express the love and appreciation that I have for my friends. Thank you, you made my trip worthwhile, and continue to make my life worthwhile. Love you all.