Archive | August 2014

Mistakes of Passion

We are all familiar with the moniker, “crimes of passion.” I submit two facts. First, most crimes are mistakes, ultimately. And second, regardless of whether it is a mistake or a crime, the penalizing effect of one act of passion can become a life sentence.
I will begin by saying I am not a huge sports enthusiast. I will also admit this may seem like old news. But the principle of one mistake ruining opportunities for future victories is too often overlooked today, and cannot be overemphasized.
I am thinking of playoff game six between OKC and the Memphis Grizzlies. (I may not have the specifics exactly right, so forgive any errors.) Passions were high, as they always are in playoff series for an opportunity to play in the national championship game. The Grizzlies were losing what could have been the final game sending them to the next round, if they could pull off a win. If they lose, the series was going to be tied with one game left to determine the team to move forward.
One of the best players on the Grizzlies punched an OKC player during the last few minutes of the game. It was called a flagrant foul. Technical shot for OKC and the Grizzlies player was penalized one game, (the tie-breaking game), as well. OKC won and one final game was needed.
Seventh game in a race to four wins. Grizzlies top player sitting this one out in the penalty box. Needless to say, OKC beat the Grizzlies and moved forward. The Grizzlies went home.
It may be that the Grizzlies would have lost the final game, anyway. We will never know. What we do know, though, is that the Grizzlies were at a serious disadvantage because of that one punch – that mistake of passion.
Perhaps the player felt like the Grizzlies had already lost that game, so he might as well get a good lick in. He may not have planned it. He may have just lost control of his emotions.
Whatever the case, I’m fairly certain he didn’t think he’d get penalized with ejection from the next game. And that ejection may have been the life sentence of no victory, ever, for the ’13-’14 season.
Using the mistake of – crime of – passion as a justification does not diminish the fact that too often we are more passionate about the act we will perform than the supposed motivating feelings.
What was your “mistake of passion?” If it is still in progress, it may not be too late to reduce the penalty. Plead guilty and throw yourself on the mercy of the court of life’s consequences.

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