Some quick thoughts on Pat Kelsey’s speech, which was a good and important one. Watch it first, though, then read this stuff. The speech is at the bottom of the page.
– This is, overall, a message of gratitude and optimism. Kelsey is grateful, because he gets to hug his two young daughters after that long bus ride back to Rock Hill, and he’s optimistic, because he knows he gets to shape the minds of those two young daughters and those of the players he coaches. I don’t need to tell you that messages of gratitude and optimism are necessary right now. More, please.
– The problem with speeches like this (and speeches like the one given by Jim Boeheim) is that they always, inevitably, come with the caveat that the person giving them doesn’t have any solutions for you. It’s an honest admission, an asterisk that must be included; but it’s an asterisk that dulls the speech’s momentum. (Mind you, you’re reading words written by someone who doesn’t know the answer either. So, fuck me, you know?)
– Still: give me ten of these speeches. Give me a hundred. Give me a thousand. Give me as many speeches as possible to to give as much inspiration as possible to as many people as possible to put as much pressure as possible on as many politicians as possible — the Obamas, the Boehners, the “smart” people with power Kelsey alludes to — to make tangible, practical changes. Ones that we can see and feel.
– Finally: I am 5′ 11″, 25 years old, and in possession of only rudimentary athletic ability. However, if I was 6′ 6″, 17 years old, and could run the floor, I would totally play basketball for Pat Kelsey. We need more Pat Kelseys.