August 14, 2008 Issue
Chestnut Hill Local
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From our readers
Thrilled with local rowing coverage
A friend forwarded me the link to your article on Bill Lamb’s rowing crew from St. Joe’s Prep and their supposed early defeat in their quest for victory in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup — the high school event at what most agree is the most prestigious Regatta in the world.
I was thrilled to see coverage of rowing in a local paper as I’m a big supporter of the sport and anytime it receives press I’m pleased. However, I was saddened to read that it was essentially a venue for a very successful coach to whine and make excuses about his crew’s elimination in the quarterfinals at the regatta in question.
What I read was something that I would have expected from a young teenager. Not an adult and professional coach who should know that his job is about more than making crews go fast. Unfortunately, Bill’s comments are representative of what I believe is broken in the sporting world. As a culture, we are so obsessed with winning that losing is seen as being unworthy and unacceptable. And therefore, something we need to make excuses for.
As a young rower, the legendary Neil Campbell coached me. He was a two-time Olympian himself and successfully coached the Canadian men’s eight to a Gold Medal in Los Angeles in 1984. Neil was and remains the most competitive person that I have ever know and yet I never once heard him blame conditions, unfair draws or make any sort of excuses for defeats he on occasion faced.
In 1988, he coached the Canadian men’s eight in Seoul and they lost, 6th place — he never blamed anyone or anything. In fact I can still hear him say, “A coach has to take responsibility for how their athletes perform on and off the water.” He taught us that on the day, anyone can win or lose, and that was simply one of the many challenges of competition in sport. We were never taught to find excuses as to why we lost. Our School’s athletic motto was “If you lose say nothing, if you win say less.” We lived it.
I hope Bill and his young rowers can find value in what I hope was a positive experience for all of them, even though they came up short in their goal to be Henley Champs. Anytime a team goes after the goal of discovering their potential, they embark on a very important and fulfilling journey. I trust that one day they will find the bigger intrinsic rewards of lifelong friendships, lifelong memories and lifelong lessons.
Meter maids are ‘vultures’ on Hill
Yesterday (Thursday, Aug. 7) I met a friend for lunch at Solaris Grille. I parked across the street on Germantown Avenue at 12:35 p.m. and put three quarters in the meter to take care of 90 minutes. My friend and I then had a nice, leisurely lunch, which lasted 90 minutes. I then went to the ladies room and walked across the street to get into my car. There was a parking ticket on my car, although I could not have been more than two or three minutes late.
It’s no wonder more people don’t want to come to Chestnut Hill, despite its charm, when you can go to a mall and not worry about these meter maid vultures who make you pay twice as much to park as you paid for your lunch. Once a few years ago I actually saw a parking meter maid stand there on the 8400 block of Germantown Avenue and watch a meter until the time expired. Then she immediately wrote the ticket. I’m sure they get a commission or bonus based on the number of tickets they write. I wish all city workers were so motivated.
The Chestnut Hill Business Association and the restaurants along Germantown Avenue must not mind alienating visitors to Chestnut Hill and allowing us to be exploited by the vultures who sneakily lie in wait for us. Although I thoroughly enjoy Chestnut Hill, it will be a long time before I return for lunch.
Sarah P. McGuire
To Lawrence Geller: On the “A.” bomb [“Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” August 7 “Forum”], it’s just too damn bad that you were not 18 or 19 and made the Okinawa and Iwo Jima scene…
Dropping in on a barren island. It took two before they surrendered. The terms were unconditional surrender. Did you forget Bataan, Corregidor, the Philippines, Wake Island, Midway, Guam, Guadalcanal, Tarawa?
Get your head out of your rear and stop reading revisionist history. It’s been a long time since I ran into someone who got dumber as they got older.
I better stop now because I could really tell you what I really think of your type.
Joseph A. Herron
Remember VJ DAY
As we go about our business this coming Friday, August 15, may we bow our heads in a moment of silent thanks … in memory of … all those who were there … many did not return … they gave their lives … those who did return are passing on … rapidly … due to old age.
For without their sacrifices we would not enjoy the freedom and democracy ... that we … too often … take for granted.
August 15, 1945 … VJ Day, Victory over Japan. The end of World War II.