Monday, March 10, 2008

Perfection

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Elon


Whenever I struggled with an opening to an essay in school, I went back to the old standby.

Webster’s dictionary defines perfection, as the quality or state of being perfect, as freedom from fault or defect, maturity or the quality or state of being saintly. (Well, we can eliminate that last part. Sorry fellas, nothing personal, but saintly you ain’t.)

Or as an exemplification of supreme excellence, an unsurpassable degree of accuracy or excellence. Hm, better.

Finishing a conference season AND winning a sudden-death tournament with an unblemished – yes, perfect – record is a seriously good accomplishment. But what does it mean to be truly perfect?

“Flawless,” says
Stephen (Most Valuable Playa) Curry.

Are you flawless? “Not yet. We gotta win some tournament games.”

“Without flaw,” agrees director of basketball operations
Jeremy Henney.

“Put a mirror in front of me,” says an assistant basketball coach. I’ll let you guess which one.

I’m not much of a movie person. I very much enjoy going to the movies, but I will rarely, if ever, sit down and watch a movie simply for the sake of watching a movie. But there is one movie that I will watch no matter how many times TNT airs it (okay, two if you count Legally Blonde), and tonight it’s plenty applicable.

Remember the Titans? The Titans are, of course, on their way to a perfect season (say what?), but nearly stumble on a roadblock (pesky, pesky phoenix...), and are in dire need of that perfect half-time speech that probably really only happens in the movies.

The ever-dapper Denzel, er, Coach Boone, tells his guys, “It's all right. We're in a fight. You boys are doing all that you can do. Anybody can see that. Win or lose... We gonna walk out of this stadium tonight with our heads held high. Do your best. That's all anybody can ask for.”

Seriously?

“No, it ain't coach,” Julius, star defensive end, disagrees, “With all due respect, uh, you demanded more of us. You demanded perfection. Now, I ain't saying that I'm perfect, 'cause I'm not. And I ain't gonna never be. None of us are.”

No, not even you Mr. Curry. Or you
Mr. Richards.

“But we have won every single game we have played till now. So this team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight. And, uh, if it's all the same to you, Coach Boone, that's how we want to leave it.”

In my humble estimation that’s the best way I can summarize this season. This team is perfect.

Taken apart they are just guys who sometimes make big plays –
Max disrupting the inbounds for the umpteenth time, Steph/Bryantwith the daggers, Jason with the cutters – and guys that sometimes don’t.

You can pick something that each does great –
Thomas taking a charge, LOVEdale with that baby hook, Jason, Steph, well, you know those two. MAX the defense. Will, the hair. Boris, the tomahawk. . Where Steve is the muscle, Bryant is the flare.

But divided that’s all. You need them all for perfection... Together, they are perfect.

And before you say anything, I know there are more games to be played, but there’s plenty more where that third straight SoCon championship came from, which is why I settled on the last definition.

Perfection is the act or process of perfecting.

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