I have no real issue with NIKE wanting to make Colin Kaepernick as their spokesman for the Just Do It campaign.
When you consider what NIKE does, they want people to buy their products so you pick the name that will get people to say your name.
But my friends at Nike missed the real point of sport. The real point of Just Doing It. And all they had to do is look at what happened in college football this weekend.
Jake Olson, a 6’3” 230 pound long snapper did not start the USC game against UNLV this past weekend. He did get into the game and he did perform his long snapping specialty.
When he came in the game there was no doubt who was going to win the game. As he trotted on, Vegas knew that they would not rush the snapper. They knew they weren’t going to block the kick or do much of anything on the play. And in doing so they became part of the real story.
Jake Olson, was born with retinoblastoma. It is, unfortunately an all too common malignant tumor of the eye. It is generally speaking caused by a genetic mutation. It accounts for about three percent of all the cancers in children and occurs in 1 in every 18 thousand live births according to the latest numbers.
Jake Olson didn’t care about any of that. For one freedom making minute, he was part of a game and a part of history.
Have I mentioned Jake is blind.
Jake Olson, a blind long snapper at USC didn’t need to Just Do It. Because he Did It. And did it very well.
And, in doing so he gave new hope where there was none...new vibrancy which was lacking and a revival of mind and body where many saw it lacking.
But in this country, in this day we find it more important to complain about old stories from old politicians. We care about whining about old stories that provide no hope. Whine about the past and you miss the ideas that you could have for the future.
Yet for Jake Olson, he helped us forget how stupid politics can be and what a truly waste of time arguing about is.
What Jake Olson gave us Saturday was hope.
And that’s what Jake did for all of us.
(Picture with thanks USC Football)