A Christmas Carol: Nails on the Street
So for those that are not aware, I am a die hard New York Mets fan. This is sort of like saying you had your future vested in Lehman and Bear three years ago and that every day you wake up to a new Credit Crunch like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Today, both in the spirit of Christmas and as a cautionary tale I point to a hero of my youth.
Lenny Dykstra, better known as, Nails.
Even though I presume very few of you guys identify with Lenny, I would argue he has everything to do with the Wall Street of today.
You see, even though our analytical methods have changed. Even though we've gone from frat house to chess club. The air of invincibility and the aura of perfection which we happily bestow upon ourselves are still here with us.
Wall Street still hasn't learned it's lesson and someone who once stood atop New York and is now rotting in the sewers beneath it should make a great cautionary tale for a young chimp or thousand.
Though I can never truly dignify a man who spouts wisdom like:
It is very simple and it is called, predatory lending, meaning, look, I don’t want to get into this ‘new world order’ stuff. I am a normal guy, meaning I don’t believe in ghosts. I am not afraid of the dark, a basic guy alright, meaning never in my life did I think there was such corporate crime. JP Morgan, those guys are criminals.
There are a few valid points worth extrapolating from Dykstra's words and more so...from his actions.
The (Inadvertent) Tao of Len
2) Lenny is a great cautionary tale. Specifically for many of you young chimps. Why? Because Lenny was once a lot like you a scrapper and a workhorse. Outworking the competition...
Just like you studied the extra hours to bump the GPA up, he took extra batting practice.
Just like you missed out on a party or two to build that resume, he ate dirt and dove for balls other players would happily "ole" .
Short talent, long ambition. That was Lenny Dykstra. He didn't have the wheels, he didn't have the guns...but the boy had stones and he had heart. The problem is that he lost perspective on his way to the top. He could have been a great lead off man for a long, long time. Instead, he juiced up and became a slugger for a season or two and ended his career way too soon...
which leads us to...
3) Somewhere in a cubicle, somewhere on the street, a young monkey dreams of a shortcut to greatness. Towards the wealth and fame which he feels he deserves, because he wasn't born with the talent, but has ambition to spare.
We make a choice every day about the sort of people we are going to be.
Things don't just happen to us.
Lenny Dykstra chose the wrong path and even though he lived the high life for a long time, he is learning the hard way how long of a season The Fall really can be.
Think long and hard about the choices you make guys.
You will have your chance to be Nails ...the nail in your own coffin.
Do right and think about the things that truly matter this holiday season.