You can call it “getting tight.” You can call it “nerves.” You can call it “feeling the weight of the moment.” You can sugar-coat the truth in any number of layers of semantics. But the moment the tightness, the nerves, or the weight of the moment manifests itself in what we witnessed last night in London…it’s an all-out choke.
The United States Men’s Gymnastics team choked.
That word has always been a source of debate in the world of sports. Some feel that labeling one as such diminishes the achievement of the other. Some feel the term ought to be reserved for only the mightiest of combatants or the most magnificent of collapses. I’ve always felt it is merely a human condition. No matter one’s skill level, no matter to what degree one is favored, no matter the stage, people simply choke.
It’s brutal to experience. It might be worse to watch. It’s quicksand (as so eloquently described by Shane Falco):
Let's hope that the chicks don't follow suit this evening. And yes, I know it's already over, but I have sequestered myself from the results in order to watch "as live" with my wife this evening - not reading Facebook, not checking Twitter, not using the internet (except to post this), not even listening to the radio. Good thing it's an afternoon of meetings around here.