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Having been a long-suffering (no longer!) Red Sox fan, I feel nothing but empathy for the New York Mets who seem to be doing a repeat performance of their tragic free fall of last year, the "07" season where they blew a 7-game lead with 17 to go to both lose the division and miss the playoffs. In the past 6 days the Mets have lost a 3.5 game lead and everybody wants to talk about "deja vu all over again." The fans and New York media are panicking, believing the "here we go again" for their seemingly cursed team. 

Here's my feeling: What happened last year is,.... well,...LAST YEAR....

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In this past Monday night NFL game between Philadelphia and Dallas, Eagles rookie Desean Jackson made an embarassing, somewhat rookie mistake. After pulling in a 61 yard "touchdown" pass from Eagles QB Donovan McKnabb and sprinting the last few yards for a sure touchdown, Jackson began to celebrate just before he crossed the goal line. He flicked the ball down and spread his arms in triumph! LET THE CELEBRATION BEGIN! Ah, excuse me....Desean? Could I have a quiet word with you just for a second? I don't want to say anything but you seemed to have grounded the ball at the one yard line. I...

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The great children's poet, Shel Silverstein has a terrific poem for athletes. I don't think he wrote it for athletes, but as far as I'm concerned, he might as well have. It's right on the money and his subject is one of the primary causes of choking. It's called "THE WHAT IF'S"

Last night while I lay sleeping here, Some what ifs crawled inside my ears

And pranced and partied all night long, And sang their same old what if song.....

(what follows is my adaption) "What if I choke?" "What if I lose?" "What if I balk?" "What if I miscue?"

"What if I strike out and...

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In swim training there's a term called "garbage yardage" which refers to the swimmer physically putting in the time training but while doing so, being mentally out to lunch. You know, it's the old, "going through the motions" thing.

If you want to get more out of your training this year, then you need to train with a purpose. You need to train with a reason. If you have a reason for putting all this time in, sacrificing and physically suffering, then you will indeed get far more out of your training then if you just go through the...

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On one of the first plays, in the first quarter of the very first game of the 2008 schedule, Patriot's QB Tom Brady took a hit that tore his ACL and abruptly put an end to his season. BANG! In the blink of an eye! OVER ! KAPUT! This is how it always happens. One moment you're fine and on top of the world, and the next, you're out for the season. Call it chance, bad luck, a tough break or whatever. The fact remains that on and off the playing fields LIFE HAPPENS to us and we can't do much of anything to stop it! Sometimes it can be surprising and totally wonderful. AND, at other times it...

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I'm writing this letter because I'm too afraid to talk to you in person. I'm terrified that if I really tell you how I'm really feeling you will get mad at or be disappointed in me. When you do that I just want to crawl under a rock and disappear. I only want you to be proud of me. I only want you to love me the way that I love you. But I can't take this any longer. I have to tell you this now, even if you won't speak to me for the next three weeks the way you've done in the past when I've disappointed you.

So here goes: I hate (tennis; soccer; softball; gymnastics...

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