By Darren Brown, News9.com INsite team
The other day while I was filling out my bracket for March Madness, I began to think how cool it would be to play in a tournament game. The Big Dance. Just to say that I played in it. Forget the fact that I can't shoot very well...or play defense...well you get the picture. I can only lay claim to being good at maybe a couple sports--volleyball, and uh, track. Actually, I only ran track back in THE DAY. These days, I don't really run--it's more of a very light jog.
But I'm reminded of my illustrious track career every time I call my friend Mike. Mike lives on the East Coast now, but he went to high school here in Oklahoma, and we talk every couple months or so. He always greets me the same way--"What's up Darren 'ALMOST MADE IT TO STATE' Brown?" Now, Mike's not being cruel, he's just being honest. That's how he signed my yearbook. I really did ALMOST make it to state. However, ALMOST is really a relative term.
See, my senior year in high school I ran the 800 meter, and at the regionals they took the top two (or was it three--I can't really remember) to the state meet. I really didn't have a snowball's chance of winning anything at state, I just wanted to go. Just to say that I was there.
So my race comes up, and I'm thinking "Just finish second (or third) and you got it man." First lap, I'm good, second lap, good. Last turn, and I'm actually in second (or third) position. Sweet. But with just a few meters to go, I decide to look back over my shoulder to see who's eatin' my dust. You can guess what happened next. Some guy from Edmond Memorial comes blowin' by me and I ended up eatin' HIS dust! No state meet, no medal, no t-shirt. I cannot tell you how much grief I took for looking back that day, from everyone involved.
I'm over it now, in case you're wondering. I even weaseled a t-shirt out of the deal. And I always look forward to talking with Mike. Not only because he's a good friend, but that nickname reminds me to quit looking back. All the good stuff is usually in FRONT of you, and if you peek over your shoulder even for a second, you just might miss out. Good luck with your brackets, and here's hoping that YOU don't look back after I smoke you with mine!