Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

” ‘Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Todd Marinovich, circa 1987

Todd Marinovich, circa 1991

If any of you have the opportunity to pick up a copy of the May, 2009, Esquire magazine, by all means, please do so.  Get a good, strong, cup o’ Joe, have a seat, and delve into Mike Sager’s excellently crafted article about ex-quarterback Todd Marinovich.  Journalism of this fine quality is why I’ve been a lifelong subscriber to Esquire.  But of this particular article itself,  all I can say is, wow, thank God for unanswered prayers.

I distinctly remember reading this Sports Illustrated article back when it appeared in 1988.  By this time, my own collegiate football career had been abruptly put to an end due to injury, and I was constantly asking myself what if? What if I’d have trained differently, more intensely and with more direction?  What if I’d a guru to guide me from day one (like Todd)?  What if I’d pushed a little harder, been more focused on the prize?  What if, what if, what if

At that time in my life, Todd Marinovich seemed to me to have been given (and was he even worthy??) a gift so precious.  I’m not at all a jealous person by nature, but I do remember being insanely so over Todd’s situation.  Why him and not me?, I wondered.  I’m not proud of this, but it is the truth.  I’ve grown up quite a bit since, and learned to appreciate my own gifts and my own struggles for their appropriate place in my life.  And it may be a hackneyed phrase, but damn if it doesn’t forever ring true — Thank God for unanswered prayers.

In health, and happy Easter


2 responses to “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

  1. I remember that SI article way back when I was in college. I thought at that time that his father was the ultimate control freak and living vicariously through his son. To some degree I was not surprised when he had struggles in his personal life when he was away from the father’s influence. It is certainly a shame the way things turned out for him – whether through injury or personal decisions.

    I know you are not a big fan of the Biggest Loser, but I can’t help to make the analogy where some of the contestants are so dependent on the lifestyle of the ranch that they are doomed to failure when left to their own devices.

    We all make poor decisions in life (myself included), but have to keep an eye on the prize and be grateful for what we do have.

    • Andy,
      Addictive personalities are no doubt an interesting study. They can become the best of the best, or dredge bottom — Todd’s seen both ends. Really, get your hands on the Esquire article if you can; it’s fascinating, if you’re at all interested in the story. Hell, it’s a great story, even if you’ve never heard of Todd Marinovich.

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