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Entry date: 4-26-2022 - "Do It Now!" (That's what Ian said) - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

So, the Suns are in trouble. I don’t think they are going to win this series. I’ve thought about it a lot and it seems like they just don’t have the heart they had earlier in the season. It begs the question, is Devin Booker the heart of this team?

I have to think so. As much as Chris Paul is the engineer that keeps the team going in the right direction a lot of the time, he’s not the heart of the team. Booker’s absence is very apparent, and the Pelicans are pretty much daring anyone on the Suns to beat them right now, even Ayton. Ayton doesn’t have the internal drive to just take over. Pelicans made great adjustments on him, too.

We’ll see how tonight goes. I think the Suns win tonight. I do. It’s a game seven I am really worried about with this team. They just don’t seem to want to exert their will on the Pelicans and the Pelicans are having no trouble giving it their all. Are the Suns afraid of what climbing the mountain means?

I was listening to someone talk about the fear of success the other day. I heard something that has stuck with me for the last several days.

“Failure is easy and comfortable.”

I thought about it for a long time, and I can see how that statement has applied itself to my own life. While I don’t feel like I have been a failure, I certainly haven’t pushed myself to succeed in the way I like to think I have.

To really succeed is life changing and that’s some scary shit right there. I get why we take our foot off the gas or never even try to accelerate. If we were to succeed, we face change. Things will change. Change is painful because to change we must grow.

To go back to the Suns, if you are a fan, you watched them grow a lot this year. They were the best team in the NBA during the regular season. They have done that before a few times, but not like this. Now they are faced with being the best team in the NBA when it matters, and they are coming up way short. Granted, their best player is not playing and the team they are playing is letting it all hang out because they are well coached and believe they can shock the world.

As I think on it, though, the growth that propelled the Suns to their amazing regular season happened in last year’s playoffs. They had been on an incredible run since the bubble of 2020 and are poised to be a very good team for a long time if they can keep their core healthy and together. It’s time, though, to go from very good to great.

I feel like those words are some that I need to embrace, as well. Time to go from very good to great. Maybe it’s just okay to good, in some instances, or good to very good. Growth is incremental in a lot of areas of life, and we can’t skip steps too often, but the challenges will always be there if we wish to embrace and accept them.

I see my friends pushing themselves and it is inspiring. I see people doing it from beyond the grave, even, and it screams, “Do it now!” I don’t want to do it from beyond the grave just like I want to see the Suns with a goddamn championship in this lifetime.

In 1989, almost exactly 33 years ago, Religious Skid opened for Fugazi. I have mentioned this before, but it applies today because that night, I got all the guys in Fugazi to sign their first EP for me. Ian Mackaye’s autograph says, “Do It Now! – Ian.” I have been thinking about this autograph for the past 33 years.

How many times should I have taken Ian’s sage advice? How many times have I shared those words with someone else? Tons. I wish I could whisper it in the ear of every Suns player, although I am sure they are hearing that from their coaches every day. I have had many discussions with myself that ended with “Do it now.”

The toughest part, at least for me, is that I also embrace the part of my personality that I dubbed “Slackdaddy” many years ago. I like slack. I like to coast and take things easy as much as possible. I’ve gotten very skilled at the art of creating slack. I could probably write a book on it. Maybe I will if I ever decide I want to “Do it now.” Creating slack is truly a form of art.

It has been detrimental to some aspects of my life, for sure. I feels like I don’t have that ability anymore to be an ice-cold killer when it is time to step it up and do it. Occasionally, I will surprise myself and old gunslinger mentality comes out like when I was a teenager and playing basketball with people who didn’t think a punk could be good at the game. They usually found out that they were not as smart as they thought they were.

I started off talking about the Suns and ended up giving myself a pep talk. Hopefully some of this will be useful to some of you who are reading this today. The world is ours, right? That’s what “they” say. “They” say a lot of things. We should probably listen to some of it, right?

I hope tonight finds the Suns believing they are the best team in the NBA again. To watch them this year, you saw they believed that. To see them shit the bed would be very fucking sad and probably put another almost death blow in my sports fanhood. I have a harder and harder time caring about professional sports anymore. I will always root for the Suns, but if they don’t care, why should I?

I have better things to do. In fact, it’s time to “Do It Now!”

See you tomorrow.

Random screenshot. Seemed fitting.

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