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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, October 10, 2000

Winning takes more than talent

We fired up the family sled and drove down to the State Theater Saturday night to take in this week's movie. "The Replacements" was showing.

If the movie has a theme it is that less talented men with heart can sometimes conquer more talented individuals who lack heart.

As a person born into the world in the "less-talented" category I enjoy stories like this one.

Of course it is only a story, not real life.

In real life, the talented players usually win.

And that makes sense. The bigger, faster and stronger a player, the better. That is just common sense.


Not always.

Sure, talent counts. But it is only one variable in the winning equation. Too often these days we find ourselves blinded by talent, and forget to look at the other variables that will eventually come to bear.

One of these forgotten variables is heart _ that characteristic that defies the measurement of bean counters and statisticians.

Often coaches forget this. Just look at the NFL. There is plenty of talent in the league but heart does not seem to be thought of as well.

I think coaches often go with talent over heart because it is the safe choice. Few will criticize a coach for playing a talented player over one that is less so, no matter the heart of the second stringer.

Great coaches though, can see deeper into their players, and sometimes have the guts to make the tough call and bench Johnny Talented in favor of a kid who is all guts and nothing much else.

Bear Bryant had that ability. So did Vince Lombardy. Jimmy Johnson did it when he brought Zach Thomas to the Miami Dolphins. It happens. But not often.

Just like coaches, we often overlook heart in favor of talent. And just like coaches, that choice will come back to bite us.

In Life, heart counts for a lot more than talent because there are no real rules in Life. Life is one mean opponent and Life is a street fighter.

Life also guarantees that one day, it will come up with an opponent who has more talent in his little finger than you have in your whole body. On that day, you better have a lot of heart.

In one way, though, Life favors the talentless who do not understand defeat. In Life, there is no fixed end to the game. Only a final whistle that blows the same for all of us.

Talent will not get you to that final whistle as a winner. Only heart can do that.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

Maybe we need  to drop the price

You cannot sell heaters to Eskimos if you charge more than an Eskimo can afford. Pecos may be guilty of just that occasionally.

You don't have to live in Pecos long to hear that one reason Pecos events do not do well is that a large portion of Pecosites just do not participate.

Often that prophecy seems to come true. In a town the size of Pecos, a reasonable person would expect more people at the 4th of July Rodeo. A person would expect more people at the Fall Fair, and plenty of entries for events like the Fall Fair cookoff which was cancelled this year for lack of interest.

You can say the same thing for almost any event in Pecos. In a town this size, more people ought to be attending the event.

One piece of the equation may be price.

The entry fee for the cook-off this year was $75. Only eight entries were received and the event was cancelled.

Seventy five dollars may be too much in Pecos, Texas. Does the entry fee have to be $75 for the cook-off to be feasible? Or could the Fall Fair have a successful cook-off with a $25 or $50 entry fee?

The same may be true for rodeo tickets, the fee for setting up as a vendor at the rodeo, and most other events in Pecos.

If we want Pecos to show up and support events within Pecos the cost of participation has to be in line with Pecos' economy.

In the case of the cook-off, a successful cook-off with a $25 entry fee would seem to be better for Pecos than no cook-off with a $75 entry fee.

Your View

Clinton-Gore should get the credit for good economy

Dear Editor:
You should get your facts straight before publishing them, If you will check the records you will see that the good economy is due to the Clinton-Gore Administration, they proposed a budget that lowered the deficit, and every republican voted against it, and it passed by one vote. The Reagan-Bush years caused the deficit to go up.

If you want to be a good republican you have to believe that limiting the sale of guns to criminals is more of a threat to families than school shootings.

If you want to be a good republican you have to believe that struggling public schools will miraculously improve once parents can use vouchers to send their kids to private schools.

If you want to be a good republican you have to believe that having tons of money to spend in support of your message has no effect on freedom of expression.

If you want to be a good republican you have to believe that giving a tax cut to the wealthiest one percent of Americans is more important than ensuring the solvency of social security and the viability of Medicare for all Americans.

I think, therfore I am, a Democrat.


Real trucks for real men

Dear Editor:
Smokey, if I may? You will be pleased to know that your latest column, "Ode to a Truck" has found it's way into the Truck Vehicle Center at Ford Motor Company. How? Well, I work for Ford Motor Co., I happen to be from Pecos, and I regularly read the Pecos Enterprise on the net. I printed the article and will display it prominently in full view of my entire department and explain that this is "An Opinion of Substance" and should be taken into account as we go about the business of designing trucks.

My initial reaction to your column was to bristle just a bit at the accusation that we do not produce trucks here at Ford. After reading the entire column, I have to agree with you. Sir, you have my personal commitment to research and institute as many of the endearing qualities that you feel are important, into the design of subsequent models under my influence. Even now, I have already inquired about and have begun receiving information on methods to remove the "new car smell" from current production models and replace it with boiled roadrunner and cabbage stew.

That is not all. I have convinced my management that perhaps we should remove that fancy independent front suspension with it's coil spring ride and replace it with a more robust design that would consist of a wagon axle mounted to a frame constructed of some heavy duty, steel I-beams.

Additionally, I will submit a recommendation that we remove all gaskets and O-rings and all other devices that are designed to impede, stop, delay or otherwise thwart oil leaks. Not only will this provide the character and "flavor" to the vehicles in question, but will generate additional revenue for the company.

I am very exited about the prospect of this direction. In closing, I am considering one other recommendation but would like to get your input. My final thought is to remove those girly padded seats and install a nice solid oak bench, similar to the kind you find in rural churches, say, ones run by the Amish. What do you think?

Thank you for your time and for your thoughts. Together, you and I will redirect this latest trend aimed at making our beloved trucks into the soccer-moms-minivans that they are currently headed towards.

CAE Vehicle Dynamics, TVC

Former drum major supports Mighty Eagle Band

Dear Editor:
My name is Frank P. Dominguez and I am currently a freshman at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. In an effort to keep up with Pecos news, I read the Enterprise every evening on the Internet.

Mighty Eagle Band Still Seeking Encouragement

On September 27 I was reading the Opinion page when I stumbled upon an article about the Mighty Eagle Band. As a past PROUD member and former Drum Major (`98-`00) I was interested in hearing what someone had to say about the band. Much to my dismay a particular group of people were dumping negative comments all over the band. The manner in which this particular group commented on the situation was very childish and in fact hypocritical.

A very important fact that needs to be considered and remembered is the fact that the Pecos High School Mighty Eagle Band performs on Friday nights. As a result uniforms are often dirty and sometimes stinky. A band or anyone else for that matter cannot be impressive if appearing dirty or stinky. The Middle School Mighty Eagle Band however does not perform on Friday nights and therefore was able to wear their uniforms clean.

Let me continue by asking this group of people where their pride and spirit were when coming down on the band? I received several emails from band members stating how upset they were that a particular comment was made. I believe the comment was, "Is it any wonder why our Pecos Eagle Band declines and continues to do so?" I personally feel that this group of people stepped back into the kindergarten classroom!

The band first of all, works very hard every day and deserves the respect of ALL. Secondly the Mighty Eagle Band showed their spirit and pride by participating in the 16 of September parade. Last but most importantly, spirit and pride are not achieved by cutting down a particular person or group.

I would like to personally challenge this group of people to make a difference and join Band Boosters. I know for a fact that there are many complaints but yet no one is up to the challenge to join Band Boosters and make a difference. This particular group needs to realize that things only get better if individuals work together and not against each other.

It is as I said last year in a previous opinion letter, "We are in this together and can only accomplish great things if we support one another." I see the many talents and abilities that the Mighty Eagle Band possesses and feel that they were treated in an unjustly manner.

I would just like to say that I SUPPORT the Mighty Eagle Band in all that they do and look forward to seeing them perform this month.

Sincerely A Past Proud Member,

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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