Here's Johnny - Losing with grace
I think one of the reasons so many folks dislike and/or distrust “the media” is that we are so often the bearers of bad news, both to the public and, sometimes, the subjects of stories.
I was both Monday when I phoned defendants in two lawsuits, which accused them of being ineligible to run for office (see story on page 1).
It seems certain that votes will not be counted for 8th Magisterial District candidate Michael Garkovich and Jailer candidate Bernie Dale Stevens after each admitted an error in their filing papers. One of Garkovich’s two required witnesses, his sister Lori, now lives in the 7th District, and one of Steven’s signers mistakenly thought he’d changed his party registration from Libertarian to Democrat.
I don’t know what sort of office-holders Garkovich and Stevens would have been, but after their dreams were dashed, each showed a depth of character seldom seen in our nation’s capital.
When I reached Garkovich by phone Monday, he said the suit was news to him. I explained its claim and he said he’d look into it and call back.
He did both, but rather than whining about the unfairness of it all, he acknowledged his mistake and apologized to County Clerk Sandy
Jones and others who’d spent time on his filing papers.
Can you see our president apologizing for … anything?
Stevens told me he’d been served with the suit the previous Friday, and said he’d like to call me back after he finished putting his three-year-old son down for a nap.
I figured he’d put poison pen to paper and put together a statement bashing the folks who’d sued him and pledging to fight until the cows come home or the last dog dies, whichever happens last.
I was wrong.
Instead, Stevens called to report that he’d looked into the matter and realized the suit’s claim was correct – that one of his two witnesses had erred. (Candidates must have signatures from at least two witnesses of the same party.)
“When we went to sign my papers, he had told me he was a Democrat, and it turned out he wasn’t, and now I’m out of the race. It was just an honest mistake,” Stevens said.
How much better shape would our nation be in today if our leaders acknowledged their mistakes, rather than casting aspersions on those who brought those mistakes to their attention?
When I called Stevens Tuesday to double-check on a minor detail (whether the three-year-old napper was a son or daughter), he ended the conversation this way:
“If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to call me back.”
It’s said that character is best revealed not when times are good, but when we’ve lost something, be it a chance at political office, or a job, or someone we miss long after they leave our lives.
On a disappointing day, Garkovich and Stevens admitted their mistakes, pulled up their socks, and got on with it.
They lost, yet they won.
Thanks for the inspiration, fellers. I needed it this week.
The “Young Team” drinking game
John Calipari’s had plenty of opportunity to lose with grace this season, what with the youngest of his young teams hitting a rough patch in the SEC.
A few weeks ago, I told Dear Readers about how the Calipariesque phrase, “We’ve got a young team” was both accurate and, after hearing it 13,000 times, rather grating. After all, Cal’s the guy who recruits these players, and one might think that he’d more often target kids who might stay for two or three or (gasp!) four years. Maybe he could even attract some from Kentucky, which, once upon a time, produced prep stars who played big minutes for the Cats.
But I digress.
Let me now introduce the “Young Team Drinking Game,” soon to be on store shelves near you. The game pieces consist of four plastic cups, bibs and instructions, the latter of which I’ll favor you with now: During Cal’s weekly call-in show, other interviews with him and the game itself, every time you hear the phrase “young team,” you take a drink.
Teetotalers can use the non-alcoholic beverage of their choice. The rest should plan on staying home or calling a cab, because our firm’s beta testers report being blotto well before the call-in show or game is over.
Thing is, when you’re a diehard fan of a really, really young team, sometimes you need a stiff drink.
And sometimes you need a dozen.