TOP OF THE TOWN – Reading the Seattle Times story on tight end Will Dissly’s recovery from an Achilles injury got me thinking once again how mental is more important to life than the physical. In my over 50 years of writing about sports I have seen more than my share of athletes who did not have great athletic ability, but were propelled to success because they had the right and positive mental attitude. If an athlete has both a natural gift at being athletic and adds that positive side you might have a star in the making. On the sadder side, I have seen naturally gifted athletes fail because they didn’t have the right mental attitude, or what we call character. In the Dissly story written by Bob Condotta, Dissly talked about a book given to him by former Washington football coach Chris Petersen –The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness – that resonated with him. The bottom line of the book is that you get what you are looking for. So if you have bad feelings you can expect bad things. Conversely, if you look for good things, you will find good things. I will break it down to a more simple term: “You are what you think you are.” If you are told over and over that you are stupid you probably begin to think, Yeah, I am stupid. So if you think you are, you likely are stupid. Life is full of obstacles. I believe that is why we are here, to see how we react to them. We all have a spiritual path to follow, but that doesn’t mean we have to follow it. It just means that if you follow it you will become a better person. How do we know if we are on the spiritual path assigned to us? You subconscious will tell you when you are doing the wrong thing. So it’s up to you on this Earth to do the right things for spiritual improvement. Your subconscious can guide you if you are willing to listen. It will tell you, you are what you think you are. This is taken directly from Condotta’s story, but it explains how Dissly got through his debilitating injury by learning from the book, “The main philosophy is what you look for is what you’ll find. And so if you go out and you’re looking for this thing, more than likely you’re going to find that thing. So if it’s a bad attitude, you’re going to find a not fun day, whereas if you’re looking for, ‘I’m going to make the most out of this day no matter what I have,’ more than likely that’s what’s going to happen.”  In short, you are what you think you are. So think good things, folks. You will be rewarded for it. … We are going through an awakening in our country about the injustices that blacks and browns have suffered through our long history. They have risen before, but this time seems different and maybe it will stick this time and real change will come. It’s not going to come over night. Racism is inbred in our society and it will take generations to chip away at the economic and social injustices we have codified in our laws. Famous athletes, most of them black, are leading the charge for change from LeBron James in basketball to Curtis Granderson in baseball to football where guys like Todd Gurley and Grady Jarrett, both of the Atlanta Falcons, are spearheading an effort. The elimination of racism has to start at birth with parents teaching their children what is right and wrong with racial problems created by skin color. Laws need to be change to give people of color an equal chance for employment, housing, education and economic relief from poverty.  Bottom line is we have to level the playing field in all aspects of our life and not disrespect others for being of a different color. I would like to think when historians look back in 50 years they will signal 2020 as the year racism began to disappear from society. … There has been a lot of discussion swirling around San Diego phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. after he hit a grandslam Monday on a 3-0 count with the Padres leading Texas 10-3 in the eighth inning of a game. There is an unwritten rule that you don’t take a swing on a 3-0 pitch with a big lead late in the game. The rule is meant to avoid showing up the other team. You can call me anything you want, but if a pitcher groves a 3-0 pitch to me I’m doing exactly what Tatis did and put the ball  into orbit. I’m not deliberately going to give myself up in that situation. I’m a competitor and if the pitch is hittable, I’m going to hit it. Yeah, as Mainers broadcaster (and former player) Mike Blowers said, I wouldn’t want to be the next hitter behind Tatis because he likely was going to get hit in the ribs with a reminder pitch that you don’t show me up. But don’t tell me that I can’t hit a meatball pitch. If the pitcher throws it, I’m going to splatter it over the fence. Okay, enough for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.