Sidebar: In writing this slightly long-winded exploration - classic Dubs, I know - I'm super grateful to the Scizz, in particular, for hashing out some of these issues on Friday night and helping me center my thoughts. Just imagine how unwieldy this thing would be without his help.
I took Thursday off this week as I struggled with a sinus infection or something quite like it. With the spare time between doses of extra strength "oh god this better get me better I have a huge day tomorrow," I caught up on some Netflix, specifically movies I can safely assume my wife would not mind missing. Having started it Wednesday night before Mrs. Dubs got home, I finished off Dark Crystal, the epic Jim Henson/Frank Oz masterpiece that still somehow holds up today. Inspired by the theme, I sailed through Labyrinth, though the viewing was more napping than anything else.
A former parole officer in the area, Hurley is the quintessential made-for-Hollywood archetype. Having been frustrated by the recidivist rates of his parolees and the frustration of not being able to keep every one of them out of jail, seeing men too old or too broken to help or fix, he opted to focus his work on high school students. Hurley's success rate is obvious, as he sends the overwhelming majority of his players on to play college ball every year, and currently holds the national record for state championships. But, like any great coach, his primary concern has always been making true men out of his boys. Having seen first-hand the reality for men who never really made that leap, his focus on the big picture has a certain urgency to it. And, to complete the morality play, following the maturation and growth is success.
It is no big secret why this kind of storyline appeals to us as sports fans. Somewhere in the midst of collective effort and camaraderie, real life lessons can be learned. And even if we are only spectators, the mere act of witnessing such moments of growth and learning and success and failure can have a profound effect. Not always, sure. But perhaps that's why we watch, as we wait for those lessons to take hold of our heroes and ourselves. Lessons about patience, about grit and determination, about the possibility of success against all odds.