We Are On The Same Team. Seriously!

by Chris Stansbury

There’s no "I" in TEAM!  However, there is a "M" and an "E."  As children, our parents teach us to play nice with others. Or, if you work as a team, you can accomplish more than you will by yourself. How about this one? You want to be the best you, got to beat the best. Woo!!
Okay, that wasn’t our parents. It was wrestler Ric Flair. However, it appears the Nature Boy’s advice is what stuck in the minds of United States’ athletes, particularly when they compete internationally. The problem right now...we aren’t the best and we can’t beat the best either.
The U.S. Ryder Cup team was humiliated. Again. The U.S. Davis Cup Tennis Team is inexplicably bounced by Russia. Yes, Russia. Both the Men’s and Women’s All-Star Basketball Teams lose in the World Championships. I believe the finger of blame can be pointed at the American media. At least partially. Ever since Tiger Woods grabbed the number one spot in golf, the media has searched for a rival. Someone that can stand toe-to-toe with Tiger. Something like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. All it has done is create animosity and ugly headlines.
David Duval lost his swing and still hasn’t recovered. Phil Mickelson and Tiger hate each other. Everyone else on tour is intimidated by him. So, when they have to go global and fight as a team, they have no clue where to begin. Half the team doesn’t like each other and the rest feel they don’t belong. We’ve already lost before the first ball is teed up.
The Europeans have it figured out. The Ryder Cup is a week long fraternity party. High-fives, fist pumping and lots of smiles. They had fun and it wasn’t just because they were winning. Get this, they actually like each other. Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal..No rivalry. Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke..Both Irishmen.. Best Friends. There’s a novel idea.
Can’t we all just get along?

Chris Stansbury