Classic: The other side of the spotlight

Dateline:  Stage Right

Comes the dancer's smile.

No matter the dance, no matter the twirl, the leap, the split.

The smile is always perfect.

Look at me, my legs and body are all whirling around below me, but up here where you are a looking … no big deal.

It is the smile the calm wears while the storm builds.

"… I won't cry, I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear … "


We have come to believe that human drama happens where the camera is pointed.

We have come to believe that the story is where the spotlight lands, for whom the confetti falls on is the hero.

But look aside the brightness.

Follow the lone confetti as it is carried in the air conditioning.

Mimic not everyone else's gaze.

And turn around.

Turn to stage right.

You need not look at all towards the stage.

Because you will be able to see the results.

In a sea of dancer's smiles.

In the family section.


" … just as long as you stand, stand by me … "


All sports, no matter what, are team sports.

No man stands alone on stage.

No woman alone stands on stage.

No stage is big enough to hold all those who belong on it.

Section 108 belongs on Center Stage.

I stood on the arena floor, this Day Two of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, and only rarely looked at the stage.

I watched the dancer's smile break into a laugh.

I watched the dancer's smile break into lip biting.

I watched the dancer's smile quiver.


" … and darlin', darlin' stand by me … "


Today, as the arena lights come up, as the confetti falls, as the man on stage hoists the biggest trophy of this sport above his head, as all that happens and you rise clapping to your feet, do this for me …

… at that moment when you think you should stop clapping, turn to section 108 and clap just a few beats more.

Clap for the family behind the man on stage.

Clap for the families of all the men who walked across that stage.

Clap for the team you rarely see.

Do that, and then do this, take the time to stand by and clap for …

… the team that stands by you.

Clap, for all those who clap for you.

"… oh stand by me …"

Stand By Me

Ben E. King


-       db

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