All In Perspective

By: Myles W. Miller

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within."
- Ramona L. Young

Today is Saturday, May 31, 2005. My birthday is on July 26, so as of today, I am 29 years old. Something happened last night that took me back 21 years. Those of you who do not know, I am a huge Detroit sports fan! Actually, that is a major understatement. You can’t imagine how big of a Detroit sports fan that I am. Let me tell you.

I remember when the Tigers beat the San Diego Padres for the World Series in ’84. I was 6 years old then. I’ll never forget how Kirk Gibson was challenged by Goose Gossage. Gibby made him pay for not walking him by smashing a 3 – run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning to seal Detroit’s first World Series since 1968.

I watched the Detroit Red Wings become a serious Stanley Cup contender in the ‘80’s also. It was the rise to stardom of a young Canadian boy named Steve Yzerman. He would take the city on his back and become everyone’s “Captain.” Stevie Y, as he was so affectionately known, would not let Detroit down by winning 3 Stanley Cups before retiring. As a result of Yzerman’s leadership and excellence on and off the ice, Detroit will always be known as “Hockey Town.”

Ahhh, The Detroit Lions. Well, that’s entirely another story.  During the ‘80’s, us Detroiters excitedly watched as the Lions drafted arguably two of the greatest running backs in NFL history. Billy Sims and Barry Sanders gave the city hope during the depressing 12 year run of a federal government that was odds with its mayor and leadership. Not much more than that hope ever truly developed. Billy Sims’ dazzling career was cut short by a horrendous knee injury. Barry Sanders amazed, captivated, and left fans in awe. People often asked, “How did he do that?!” However, he left without a peep one day and just retired. That was it.

Ahh yes, this leads us to my favorite team of them all, the Detroit Pistons! I played football and baseball. I never really understood how to play basketball very well, but I knew that I loved the Pistons! Isiah Thomas was the king of Detroit during that era. “Zeke” could do no wrong during this time (I beg you not to compare this time with the present,). He was the captain of the Bad Boys. It was a name given to my guys for a tough brand of basketball that often times left opposing stars on the ground (ask Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen, they’ll co-sign my story!) Right around 1986, they had put all the pieces together to create a championship team. Isiah was already in place. Also Joe Dumars, John Salley, Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn, James Edward, Vinnie Johnson, and Adrian Dantley had finally fused together to make formidable union.

The 1986-87 season was the Pistons time to show that a champion had been born in the Motor City. All of the series leading up to the Eastern Conference Finals were epic battles for the Pistons. They fought and clawed their way through first two rounds of the playoffs. The Washington Bullets were annihilated 3 – love. The Atlanta Hawks, led by “The Human Highlight Reel,” Dominique Wilkins was send back to the A, losing in 5 games, 4 -1. I was actually at the Silverdome to witness Isiah hit the game winning lay-up at the buzzer to win game 4. Then came those hated Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird, were arrogant and pompous, by this writer’s opinion. They hit tough shots, the referees calls always seemed to go their way, and often times they played very dirty on defense. So, when they bumped heads (remember that statement) with the Pistons, it should have been no problem to play physical basketball with a team that played physical basketball. However, they complained often of the Pistons’ level of intensity and tough play. After 6 games had been played, the Pistons took the series tied 3 – 3 to Boston for the decisive game 7.

The Boston Gardens was never a place that was friendly to Detroit. It was always hot as hell in the building and it was hard to breath. The two teams fought, violently, for 3 quarters. It was truly a clash of the titans! Then came that infamous moment: Vinnie Johnson and Adrian Dantley collided and bumped heads while diving to retrieve a loose ball like two speeding trains. The result, Dantley was taken off the court, unconscious, by paramedics and Vinnie sat on the bench with his eyes nearly rolled back inside of his head. Even though two of their best shooters were unable to perform, I still held on to my hopes that my guys would pull it off. I mean, Isiah and Joe D. were still there, right?

When to final horn blew, the score was 117 – 114, and the Pistons headed to locker room while there was celebration going on the court. It was the coronation of the Eastern Conference Champs, but they had the wrong uniforms on. Instead of the glorious road blue, red, and whites of the Pistons, it was that hideous and despicable white and green of the home team, Celtics. This couldn’t be. No, this wasn’t true. Seriously, they are going to put some time on the clock because the time keeper made a mistake, right? Well, my Pistons had lost. It was the first time that I had really believed in something so much and was disappointed. I immediately cried uncontrollably. I cried, I cried, and I cried some more. I ran and fell in my parents’ bed and just cried. I had never felt a pain that deep before. I was 8 and my world just seemed to crash down. “How?” I remember asking my father. He told me, “Well, they just couldn’t finish them off without A.D. (Adrian Dantley).” My God mother was there and she couldn’t stand to see me hurt like that. She tried to make me feel better by giving me some money for ice cream, but the ice cream just didn’t taste the same. There was a very bitter taste in my soul and diary products couldn’t remove it.

I am still a huge Pistons fan. Although I now live in Atlanta, I still love my Pistons. They will forever be my guys! These new breeds of Pistons, led by Chauncey Billups, have the same type of guts like their predecessors. This is largely in part to the fact that their chief architect is Joe Dumars. That same loyalty and allegiance that I had them is still infallible. I love the Pistons, and nothing changes that. Well, let us fast forward to last night. History repeated itself. My guys lost the Eastern Conference Final to those cats wearing those hideous uniforms. Although I have mad love and respect for Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, I still hate the Boston Celtics organization and always will. It’s called loyalty people! This time, to add insult to injury, they did it in Detroit.

Some things are different now, but the feeling of a Pistons loss still tastes like sour grapes mixed with heartburn. My God mother has gone on to be with the Lord and my parents are back in Detroit. So the soothing taste of a frozen gelatinous confectionery was not coming, nor could I run and bury my head in my parents’ bed and cry my disgust away this time. I had to stand up and put this event in its proper perspective.

Over the past 21 years, I have had some real life disappointments. I have lost friends who I thought would be there forever. I have lost money, a couple of pet dogs, time, family members, and some other aspects of my life that I may never get back. I look at world news and events and see how people lose their lives everyday in war-torn cities and villages. I see how a ferocious earthquake ravaged the People’s Republic of China. I see how a cyclone, with malice in its heart, ripped through Myanmar. I see countless children in Third World countries walking around with their bellies protruding from malnourishment. I haven’t even begun to talk about the insane rash of homelessness in the United States. I see it first hand in Atlanta, GA and I remember how bad it was in Detroit, MI. Gas prices are steadily increasing with no end in site, while the value of the US dollar steadily decreases. Joblessness is ridiculous. Health care and the lack thereof for many Americans is outrageous! I could go on about the calamity and turmoil of the nation and the world, but you get the point by now.

It was in talking to my mother moments after the game that I came to this revelation. I don’t really watch the crucial games of the Pistons any more. So, I have to rely on others to give me scores and such. My mother is so wise. She told me, “Son, I try to tune out what they [Pistons] do. If they win, good. If not, oh well. But I found myself getting all tense and up tight, then I though that these guys are millionaires, they’ll be okay.’ There it is. With everything going on it the world, none of us have time to become enthralled with the wins and losses of young men getting paid a king’s ransom for living their dreams. I hear Les Brown speak on this very subject often. He says, “These are serious times, so you have got to be serious…If you haven’t accomplished your dreams, you can’t afford to sit up watching TV.”

My favorite mantra now is also one of my famous quotes: “Don’t Ever Give Up, Don’t Ever Quit On Your Dreams! I speak to you today, go live your dreams! I’ll say the same thing tomorrow and the next as well. Until you get it, I will continue to say it. Even after you get it, I will constantly remind you…”Go live your dreams!” The world is waiting on you…Opportunities are limited, so act fast! If you need a coach to propel you, my rates are very reasonable.  Contact me at mwmiller18@yahoo.com and we can get you moving.

Well, my dear reader, it is always great to write for you. I hope to hear about your success story really soon. Don’t Ever Give Up, Don’t Ever Quit On Your Dreams! God bless you and may success embrace you!

I’ll see you soon!!!!

Author's Bio: 

Born in Detroit, MI in 1978, Myles W. Miller, President and CEO of Lion Heart Enterprises, is known to his friends and family as a hard-working, loving, kind, compassionate, creative, and inspirational young man. He is a dynamic teacher and personal coach, a compelling and prolific writer, a charismatic and transformational motivational speaker, a phenomenal talk show host, and just an all around good guy.

Myles is a Self-Help expert on Selfgrowth.com and can be heard on his radio shows, "Creating a Championship Standard of Living," and "The 4th Quarter Comeback Show" at http://bit.ly/MylesTalkRadio.

He can be contacted directly at myleswmiller@gmail.com or via phone at (770) 674-8350.

The Power of Conquering Fear may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com/content/189004