Did a Recent Feature in a Salt Lake City Newspaper Tell the Truth About Zach Wilson and His Family?
By Ken K. Gourdin
A recent feature in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News wants us to know that Brigham Young University quarterback Zach Wilson comes from an impressive family, particularly on his mother’s side. She’s a Neeleman. As one example, David Neeleman is the founder of the airline JetBlue. See the story here, last accessed August 26, 2019: https://www.deseret.com/sports/2019/8/25/20828350/how-those-closest-to-zach-wilson-ute-fans-to-the-core-played-a-hand-in-landing-him-at-byu.
I worry, at least a little bit, about stories like this. Yes, the family is impressive. Yes, its members have accomplished some amazing things. Yes, if I had written this story, I might have taken a similar approach of playing up the positives and downplaying the negatives.
All of that having been said, we’re human beings, not human doings. And Jenkin Lloyd Jones had it right when he said that “most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise.”
I hope the young Mr. Wilson has a long and successful football career, at BYU and beyond. But the reality is, he’s one good hit away from having that projected promising trajectory completely derailed. (Perhaps he should talk to Andrew Luck about that, though I realize Mr. Luck’s situation stems more from a succession of injuries that have taken their toll rather than from a single dramatic, traumatic occurrence.)
Most people aren’t “successful in whatever they do” [my phrase]. Most people fail far more often than they succeed. The only thing we can do is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and go at it again or try something else. Most people find themselves in suboptimal circumstances of which they simply must make the best they can far more often than not.
I’m reminded of the episode of M*A*S*H in which a team arrives to make a documentary about “saints in surgical garb” and “miracle medical mortals” which Hawkeye and Trapper then sabotage in favor of telling the truth. If you want me to know who you really are, don’t wax eloquent about all of your successes: tell me how you’ve responded to your biggest failure.