(RBI single in 2-1 championship victory)
6/3/16 – Pre-Game Reflections
“To achieve [what was thought to be] the impossible, it is precisely the unthinkable that must be thought.” – Tom Robbins
“Currahee” is a mountain in Georgia that Easy Company of the 101st Airborne had to run 1-2-3 times (sometimes in full packs) almost every day and/or night while training to become troopers leading to their preparation for D-Day. It’s what made them arguably the greatest company in the most legendary division in the entire European theater.
So what’s this mean for your purposes, you might ask? Well “Curahee” was purportedly an Indian word that translates loosely to “we stand alone together” and it’s how Easy saw themselves as a Band of Brothers against anyone or anything that would stand up against them. There was no greater display of this mindset than when the 101st, along with remnants of other divisions that were patched together, were deployed during the Battle of The Bulge while outnumbered and surrounded in unrelenting weather lacking adequate gear, supplies, air support,and replacements. You were probably two young to remember when we watched Tom Hanks miniseries “Band of Brothers” but it might be worth revisiting when you have the time, especially the first episode which lays out the “Currahee” which might give some context to this story.
So Dad enough of the history lesson, right? Well we’ve gone back and forth through so many texts like this together too numerous to count over the last three years for me to believe that you fail to appreciate the significance of this as you approach the moment you step onto the field again in an attempt to replicate last year’s Division Championship.
Although you will be surrounded by family, friends, fans, etc., you and I know that it is only you as a team that will “Stand Alone Together” as a Band Of Brothers, forged by uncountable challenges and tests stretching back to your freshmen year and in some cases, little league and grade school. Who am I to try to define and describe what that relationship entails (although I have some idea thinking back to Lakewood Baseball days) because only you truly know what it means and how it has changed and molded your young lives by the greatness of moments that you created and never achieved before in the history of this program. I have been a proud witness to so much of your journey as a father who’s spent so much time on both sides of the fence with you and even though I had hopes of grandeur for you from the day you first threw a ball to me like so many other Dads, I could never have predicted that the quest I started with you has ended WITH YOU taking me along on such an incredible, miraculous, and unprecedented ride. I ask myself all the time, how did this all happen? And you know what, it doesn’t matter because this is not time for analysis and analytics.
Now all I ask (and doubt that I have to) is that you slow down either before or during the anthem, address God with a great deal of humility, and look around you while you thank Him for the hours that lie in store for you as you will soon write the words, verses, paragraphs, and the next chapter of this growing story of your existence. And then, look at your teammates and see that as individuals you are so talented but as a company of young men, you will stand alone together before us stronger than any force that opposes you almost like the Spartans of Ancient Greece.
I’ve said so many times in efforts to motivate and inspire you that “greatness is no accident” so the products of the great moments that have led you to the title game once again should never be confused as a result of luck or chance. This is the byproduct of great young men, fueled by great individual and common dreams, and working, walking and running together (sometimes carrying each other) on your own personal “Currahee” to one final great moment as Redondo Sea Hawks! And you know what? Other than sharing an actual battlefield such as the men of Easy Company did so many times in WW2, and I pray you never do, you will likely never have a connection more profound than your unique relationship with those on this team that enter with you into the fray that lies ahead at game time.
Am I jealous? You bet but at least I had a taste of it when I was your age! Am I proud? “F” yes because I can actually say with immense satisfaction that I’ve gotten and get to watch a true “Dico” who will write his own destiny with confidence after earning the stripes that are required to be called by that nickname! “Currahee”, “Kumite”, good luck, and good skill from your Dad, who is still waiting to grow up one day so he can be like Jason f’ing Dicochea. I Love you son.