Upper Deck: Greatness In Mavs & 'Honey-Do's'

Basketball reminds me of life. You have ups and downs. Sometimes you cannot miss, everything is going right and you are on top of the world. Some days you cannot buy a basket, everything clangs off the rim and some days, a clown in a striped shirt causes you to foul out even though you were vertical and the other guy clearly charged.

The real struggle in sports is trying to figure out what causes the variances. Why does a team that looks like a world-beater one week, but lose badly to a much weaker opponent the next week? It is a question that coaches study and apply countless strategies toward, all looking for answers. It may be out of our control completely, it may be because of momentary losses of concentration by the individual, hidden biases within a referee, or general malaise during part of a season.

During the modern Mavericks era, we suffered with the ups and downs of season after season, with most seasons, previous to the current championship run, ending in an excruciating crash at the bottom of such a deep well that even Lassie could not rescue us.

The most recent season may have uncovered a secret to success. It is a secret we already knew -- or at least we tell it to ourselves all the time ... we know it ... but we don't seem to really believe it.

It is the secret of belief.

If you believe it strongly enough you can make it happen. Game after game in the playoffs, the Mavericks actually believed they were going to win, and played that way till the end of the game. It would have been easy some of those come from behind games to think, "Let's pack it in and do it next game, next season, next playoffs.''

If you let any doubt creep in, beliefs begin to unravel, it is human nature. We can only achieve what we believe we can achieve. It is a lesson that needs to be learned by another local team that has not believed in itself in a long time. Oh, sure you hear bravado but when you see a team lay down for whatever reason, you know the belief is not really there.

I like Cowboys coach Jason Garrett's "make each day great" talks, but he needs to add something to it, he needs to say, "KNOW each day will be great."

Thoreau wrote, "If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." It is a quote that I have said over and over to my children: Believe you can, never doubt it. You will encounter brick walls on the path, but they are there for a reason, they let you prove how much you want it.

So, my personal-as-a-fan challenge to the Cowboys this year, as it was to the Mavericks last year is ... Show us, the fans, that you want it. That is really all it is about.

The Olympic sprinters who consistently win races by a hundredth of a second? They know the difference in winning and losing is not being a hundredth of a second better, it is about the profound belief that you will complete it and that you will win.

As I stare at my "Honey Do" list for the weekend I can approach it with the same attitude. I can say, "I can do it, I can find greatness in washing the car, I can find greatness in mowing the lawn, I can find greatness in bathing the dog!'' Or I can hide from my wife all weekend.

There is a lot to be said for finding greatness in how you hide, too, you know.

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