Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Congrats Cadet Charles Nadd!


Charles Nadd, College Winner
Institute for International Sport Essay Contest
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Charles is a Cadet at The United States Military Academy at West Point. Below is his winning essay on sportsmanship:
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Hard Work: There is No Substitute
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"Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem."— Saul Steinberg
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Sitting with my closest friends in the stands behind home plate on a warm Florida night towards the end of my Senior year, I watched as our high school's varsity baseball team upset our cross-town rivals' heavily-favored squad for the Regional Championship.
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It was there that I realized why baseball has become our country's national pastime. It embodies the winning spirit that has defined America for the past two centuries, it highlights the sometimes mysterious workings of luck's sly hand, and it reminds us how much hard work goes into making any dream worth realizing come true.
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Far too many of today's professional baseball players have tainted that concept of hard work with the unethical, unfair use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs. In doing so, they have undermined the sport that we all love and, consequently, the values that define our nation.
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Most baseball fans will never play at the major league level. They will all, however, take the values that they learn from the game into their own professional lives. Today's star athletes have a responsibility to show America's future businessmen and women, doctors and surgeons, lawyers and judges, politicians and government leaders, that when faced with tough situations, responsible adults ought always choose the harder right over the easier wrong.
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I have often thought about what goes through a player's mind in the moments before he dopes up to bulk up. It must be the saddest of places, knowing that you and the natural qualities that were bestowed upon you that allowed you to make it into the big leagues are not adequate enough to meet your selfish, greedy desires to grow into an artificial super-man.
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As artist Saul Steinberg remarked, the keys to the art of baseball include courage, good luck, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem. Through a major athlete's unethical choice to add such chemicals to his body, he or she forfeits the red badge of merit, shrugs at the concept of luck, turns away from patience about fate, and, worse of all, escapes any thought of that "sober self-esteem" that defines a true "professional."
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This dangerous spiral away from the values that define baseball is troubling, but, fortunately, does not mark the doom of the great American pastime.
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With a renewed commitment to upholding the excellence and standards of the game, baseball players at all levels – from the youngest tee-baller to the highest-paid major league star – can remind our nation what it means to sit in the stands behind home plate on a warm Spring night and cheer with our brothers and sisters on the field when dreams are realized – thanks to persistent, honest hard work. There is no substitute.
Thanks so much for the correction from the member of the Class of 2011. Nice work, cadet!
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The essay above is the correct one. Again, Congrats, Charles! Nice job! And I appologoze for the Old Grad moment!

1 comment:

Peter said...

Looks like you're slipping "J". Time to break out the neuralizer.