Editorial: Oct. 8, 2012

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

Michael Jordan said, “Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.”

Exactly one half of all the sports teams playing any on any given day will win, if you don’t count ties. So with 50/50 odds nearly a mathematical certainty already, why not take Michael’s advice? Maybe fun is the winning edge. You only need one more point than the other guy, anyway, except in golf where you win by playing less than everybody else, which sounds like fun already.

Whatever your sport, baseball, tennis or full-contact checkers, I’m sure you practice. There’s strength to build, skills to hone, maybe rule books to cram between your years… and much more hard work. Even if you love the sport, it’s still hard work.

But you are only goofing off if you don’t practice what Coach Michael told you. Have fun. Practice it—and here’s your chance. Go watch grown people play in the mud at the Muddy Viking just up the Lake at Chautauqua Lutheran Center, next Saturday, October 14. Next time, you won’t want to miss the fun yourself.

This week the Jamestown Gazette invites one and all to go get some practice having fun with a new and entirely crazy sport where winning isn’t necessarily everything. Mud runs now attract as many as 6,000 “runners” to races at hundreds of locations across the USA. Some people really run to win; it’s like muddy boot camp without the ugly, old Sarge. Others run to laugh so hard they can’t even stand up.

Other sports, of a more conventional kind, at least let you enjoy being good without being perfect. Ted Williams, one of baseball’s all time greatest players said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.” A batting average of .300 is also an “out average” of .700. Baseball is a sport that combines enjoyment with character building.

Bill Burk, one of our newest contributing writers at the Gazette, has a unique baseball story for you this week in our Sports Section on page XX. Bill will be well known to many readers for his long and successful coaching and athletic training career at Jamestown Community College, as an NJCAA Coach of the Year who has coached 9 All American athletes, won regional and national championships and plays really good golf too. Bill is also an outstanding writer and will be bringing you regular stories about local and national athletes and topics. We’re sure you will enjoy getting to know Bill on the pages of the Jamestown Gazette.

And finally, just to clear up one more mystery about sports, here’s Baseball Genius Yogi Berra telling a competitor all you ever need to know about winning and losing: “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.