“Well Hello There, My It’s Been A Long Long Time…”

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It is not often that I’d call televised messaging brilliant, but Nike knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. I was so captivated by the “Goodbye Someday” video celebrating the Chicago Cub’s win of the World Series over the Cleveland Indians that I’ve watched it three or four times. I plan to watch it again as soon as I post this blog. The announcement is only a minute long, but the message it flawlessly communicates is one that cannot go unnoticed. It carries with it the fantasy of a dream come true.

 

I’ve been boycotting baseball for the last six decades, but the emotion and messaging associated to the film cut through the veneer of my disinterest and left me smiling. I was mesmerized by the one-man (child size) baseball game in progress as a little boy plays pretend on a baseball diamond. Of course, he is outfitted with a Chicago Cubs’ jersey and baseball cap, so it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out the team for whom he imagines he is playing.

 

A variety of pictorial frames depict the little boy fully engaged in the game. The audible sound in the background is a song. The song isn’t what you might expect. It is not: “Take Me Out To The Ball Game”.  Instead, it is a song that figuratively catches one off-guard and doesn’t immediately seem to make a lot of sense. However, as you begin to process the words, it then thoughtfully falls into place.

 

“Clever, very clever” is my take on the selection. The song begins: “Well, hello there, My it’s been a long, long time…” The song is entitled: “Funny How Time Slips Away.” My hearing isn’t as good as it once was, but the recording artist clearly sounds like Willie Nelson. If I’m not mistaken, Willie wrote the song. When it comes to winning top honors, it had been 108 years since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. That clearly falls into the category of a “long, long time”.

 

There is something to be said for “keeping on keeping on”, but how long can you move forward with any kind of expectation that things will one day be different? Truthfully before this week, nobody living had ever seen the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. Most probably thought it improbable. I’m sure that’s true of most of the adults who’ve followed the team across the years. Did they want it to happen? “You bet”. Did they think it could? Some would say, “They didn’t have history of their side.”

 

One of the things I value about childhood is the freshness and the freedom to imagine things differently. From the vantage point of idealistic thinking, “impossible” isn’t a word that surfaces on the radar screen. Kids aren’t normally conditioned by the thought that tomorrow’s win will be replaced with a duplication of yesterday’s losses. That certainly is true of the little boy starring in “Goodbye Someday”.

 

As the youngster caught up in fantasy plays out the game, he is playing for keeps. Everything from shuffling dirt with his feet as he stands on the pitcher’s mound, hitting a ball he throws into the air as he swings the bat resting on his shoulder, running and subsequently reaching high into the air to catch a fly ball; it all comes together in a fantasized award winning effort on the boy’s part.

 

Of course, in the last frame when standing in the batter’s box, the little boy connects with the ball. You can tell from the sound that the ball is gone. As he begins his trek around the bases, initially with arms lifted up and the index finger of each hand pointed heavenward, it is clear that he’s hit a homerun. He dances a jig around home plate after he tags home plate with his foot and crosses the finish line. The sound track from “Funny How Time Slips Away” changes to an announcer’s home run call followed by the notation: “Goodbye Someday”.

 

“Tonight, ‘someday’ became ‘today’. The Cubs came back from an improbable 3-1 deficit against the mighty Cleveland Indians and erased 108 years of falling short (whether it be by an inch or a mile). Nike is joining the city of Chicago in celebration with an innocent portrayal of a young Cubs fans pretending to win it all. Well, there’s no need to pretend anymore”.

 

“Nike was quick to air a minute-long commercial to celebrate the Cubs’ Game 7 extra-innings victory just minutes after Kris Bryant fielded the final out of the 8-7 win to give Chicago a World Series title for the first time in more than a century”.

 

If the Cubs could turn a 108-year gap into a win, is it possible that you and I could negotiate life differently? In what areas do we need to recapture the dreams lost to childhood? The Scripture says that God has the ability to make all things new. I don’t know about you, but there are areas of my life where an extreme make-over would serve me well.

 

Perhaps the first step is the ability to reconnect with the youthful idealism that one day was characteristic in our lives. Sometimes simply having the ability to envision something other than “same ole, same ole” can provide a freedom to move forward.

 

Being part of a baseball team that wins the World Series isn’t one of the dreams that I’ve forfeited. I couldn’t even make the First State Bank Little League Team at the age of nine-years-old, but there were other areas of my life where I dared to dream big.

 

It is “Funny How Time Slips Away” and in the process it often leaves the hopes and dreams we once dared to believe in the cluttered rubbish pile of days gone by memories.  It is really difficult to move hopes and dreams forward if we’ve tossed them aside. This is a new day and a new opportunity. Why not pick up where you left all. Sure, it’s been a long, long time…but today might be a good day to begin again. You might want to watch the “Goodbye Someday” clip to give you extra incentive http://news.nike.com/news/make-someday-today

 

All My Best!

Don

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