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Sometimes words aren't wanted, but they are needed

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Billy Gillispie has been coach at Kentucky for less than a year, but he has already left a mark here.  He has left a mark on the team, in terms of toughness and grit.  He has left a mark on the fans, with his willingness to accept the blame for a tough transition, a poor early season record, his refusal to accept injury as an excuse for poor performance, and his insistence to anyone who will listen that this is his basketball team and not some rag-tag remnants of mismanagement.

I am not used to praising Gregg Doyel, I am used to burying him in a blizzard of rebuttal and ridicule.  But not today.  Gregg has just written a piece for CBS Sportsline that will reach deep into your chest, seize your heart in a vicelike grip, and leave you changed a bit for the better.  It is all about this video, and the effort of Dance Blue.  All you have to do is watch the video, and if you aren't moved, you need to call an ambulance.

Very rarely are we allowed a glimpse into a person's heart, but the video linked above is one of the more endearing things I have ever seen done by any coach at any time.  It literally brought tears to my eyes, which have yet to clear.   It 's truly moving to see someone almost break down in front of a crowd trying to raise money for sick children, especially someone with the tough-as-a-piece-of-iron image Billy Gillispie tries to live up to.  It is a peek inside the soul of a private person who grew up without the benefit of privilege, but did grow up with the benefit of health, something that the children that are the object of pediatric cancer research have been denied so far.

The gift Gillispie gave is incidental, to my mind.  Sometimes, seeing someone so touched by circumstances is an even rarer treasure.  These kids were just happy to be around the man.  That was gift enough, but not nearly enough for the coach.  Of course, I'm sure Coach Gillispie would rather that neither Doyel nor I write these pieces about his charitable actions.  I'm sure the same is true of the other fine coaches mentioned by Doyel --  Mike Krzyzewski, Brian Gregory, Billy Donovan, Roy Williams, Herb Sendek -- and there are undoubtedly many more who's charitable kindness and community work go unheard and unheralded.  It is not for public plaudits, newspaper articles or praise from bloggers like me that they do this work and give their time and treasure to these causes.  But in my humble opinion, we should write them whenever we have the opportunity.  Writing about their stories of kindness and generosity inspires others to selfless action, and helps us all reflect on where our own hearts are.

So here is an apology to our coach for more unwanted publicity, but I hope he will take my word that it is with the best of intentions and the hope that by making a big deal of something he would rather minimize, it might help make the world a little better place.  Winston Churchill said, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."  The actions of these fine coaches, and many others who remain nameless, remind us of this important lesson and enrich our lives by giving us an example we would all do well to emulate.

Thank you, Coach Gillispie, Coach Krzyzewski, Coach Gregory, Coach Donovan, Coach Williams and Coach Sendek.  And thank you, Gregg Doyel, for such a fine article -- it was inspiring.

Update [2008-2-28 19:25:7 by TheFakeGimelMartinez]: Tru had the wrong article link. It be fixed now. Wee!