Toronto Mike

Be Like John Thompson


I'm still angry.  Last night my rec league softball team lost a semi-final game by a single run.  It was as close as a game can get with me as the tying run deserted at third base in the bottom of the last inning.

I'm still angry because one of my players played a horrible game.  He killed us defensively all night and in the last inning when we needed four runs to tie, he was the first out in the dumbest base running play I've ever seen.  That's when I thought about John Thompson.

John Thompson was coach of the Georgetown Hoyas basketball team.  In 1982, his Hoyas were in the NCAA finals against Michael Jordan and the North Carolina Tar Heels.  Thanks to Jordan's jumper, North Carolina led 63-62 with 20 seconds to play.  Georgetown's Fred Brown dribbled the ball up court and inexplicably threw an errant pass right into the hands of North Carolina's James Worthy.

At that moment, Fred Brown had cost Georgetown the national title.  I can imagine how Brown felt.  Right after the buzzer went, John Thompson went straight to Fred Brown and hugged him.  I often think about that moment and remember it's just a game.  I try and be like John Thompson at that moment in 1982.

Fred Brown would never play NBA ball, but he would eventually win an NCAA title with the Hoyas in 1984.  I couldn't find footage of the hug, but here's the last 20 seconds of that game that inspired me so.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.