Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Denver Broncos Are Going To The Superbowl--Alaska is NOT!!!

I am still here. Each year that I am here seems to winnow out the people who like the idea of visiting Alaska from those who have not the slightest interest in trekking thousands of miles to visit Alaska (or me). I do give big kudos to those of my friends who have made the journey. Some of my friends didn't like it (sorry about the mosquitoes, Matt), but I thank them for making the effort to come here anyway (and sorry they made you lose your wedding ring in the forest).

Which reminds me:

The Denver Broncos are going to the Superbowl.

Alaska is not. Not that we care, we don’t have our own team and anyway the Lower 48 (known to us as L48, or “Outside,”) doesn’t really know or care what goes on up here.

It reminds me of a story. The other day, a player was told by his head coach: “You can stay here, or you can go play for Alaska: choose.”

The player thought about Alaska:  Yeah, there are some nice things up there, but basically he would have to live in a log cabin and poop in an outhouse and probably get a horrible job on a cannery boat during the off season. And what if things just didn’t work out?  He would be four thousand miles from home.

The other choice: stay on his home team, work on his shit with his head coach, and just make the best of things. He decided to stay, so he called Alaska and told them his decision.

“You’re four thousand miles away," he explained. "That’s a long way. I really like you—and I thank you for all your support. But I want more than you can offer at the present time. I decided I’m better off here.  I’m sorry.”

Alaska was not prepared for this—negotiations had gone really smoothly—but you can never really tell what a player will decide.  After all, both sides want the best return on their investment.

It was disappointing, to say the least. A player like this only comes along so often, and it could be months or even entire seasons—or possibly never that a suitable replacement might be found. But what could the coach do at this point? Send flowers?  He’d already gone to visit the player in person, and they’d had a great time together. But that’s precisely when it makes sense to be careful—just because you hit it off in person doesn’t mean it’s going to turn into any kind of serious commitment in the long run.  The coach had been so confident about recruiting this player that he’d thrown caution to the wind—he’d basically given this player anything he’d asked for, and there was no way, realistically, he could ever recoup the loss.

Before the coach could go on with the rest of his day, he realized the only right thing to do was to be gracious about it. He called up the head coach of the home team and congratulated him. “Wish it was me,” was all he said. The head coach received the call with a cheerful politeness.  It was a short conversation.

Just before negotiations broke down, the player had thrown Alaska a bone—he promised to keep in touch, just in case things didn’t work out. “Yes, I’d like that,” the Alaska coach had said before hanging up. Then he did what any Alaskan does after receiving bad news—he went out into the yard to spend the rest of the afternoon splitting kindling and stacking firewood on the porch.

Yes, this is a breakup story. Not a breakup with my husband. That went really, really well compared to the breakup with my player, er, boyfriend.  

So who wants to come to Alaska and be my new QB??