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Havlicek Stole the Ball!! Iss All Ovah!

Dave Randall

Posted on February 15, 2019 18:03

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How the cry of of an excited sportscaster serves as a mantra for letting go

The biggest impressions made by sports occur during childhood. What you see, what you hear, what you feel are often indelible. Even if you don't avidly follow the teams involved, those moments and the way they are described come back to you at the strangest times. 

I'm no fan of Boston teams--in fact, just the opposite, considering what the Red Sox did to the Dodgers in October, and how the Patriots just shut the Rams down in the Super Bowl. I'm particularly not interested in the basketball Celtics, because, though the Lakers prevailed over them in '10, '87 and 1985, Boston made bridesmaids out of L.A. six times in the 1960's, 1984, and 2008. 

It should not be considered peculiar, however, that a famous Celtic moment popped into my mind the other day, during a moment of reflection. It struck me as not just a wild radio call during one of sports' classic plays, but as a truth that sums up a situation that calls for moving on. 

When I was a kid, there was no home video, no youtube, no streaming. What went viral was the flu, that's all. We did have collections of exciting, historic moments culled from broadcasts, put on albums, and sold on TV. The commercials have hung with me to this day. One album took its title from the play-by-play, as the buzzer went off on a Celtics-Philadelphia play-off game in 1965. Leading by a point, Philadelphia (with Wilt Chamberlain) inbounded the ball, only to have Celtic forward John Havlicek force a turnover. Time ran out, and Boston advanced to the NBA Finals. The Celtics' crusty, raspy-voiced announcer Johnny Most croaked, "Havlicek stole the ball!! It's all ovah! It's all ovah!!"

I never forgot it, of course. Earlier this week, I sat pouring over friends' facebook posts...never a good thing to do when pensive. Considering career setbacks, frustrations, and yes at least one lost love from days of yore, I thought for a moment, shook my head and mumbled to myself, "'Havlicek stole the ball...it's all ovah!' Yes. Gone and done."

It immediately dawned on me that this is true of anything in the past that weighs on you, or for which you have a tinge of regret: Hey, Havlicek stole the ball. It's all ovah. Move on. 

It won't fill the pages and make a book, like The Four Agreements, but when you think about it, it can help you turn the page. 

Dave Randall

Posted on February 15, 2019 18:03

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