Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Describe Feeling

with 7 comments

The winter Olympic Games are underway again. Skaters and skiers, sledders, curlers, and boarders will be competing for that pinnacle moment when a broadcast journalist points a microphone at their face in search of the next version of what it feels like to win.

Before we even get to that, during last night’s US taped broadcast of the opening ceremony, NBC provided appetizers in the form of athletes trying to describe their feelings before stepping into the stadium for the parade of nations.

I love watching athletic competition. Seeing people struggle for words to describe how they feel isn’t as entertaining for me.

Sometimes I wonder more about the broadcast journalist who is popping the question. Think of the effort they put in to reach the subject of greatest interest, battling camera-yielding athletes in their own right who are jostling for position with all the other microphone-holding reporters eager to ask.

What must the journalists be feeling at the moment they try to concisely summarize what just happened for the athlete, setting up the big question? How did the journalist train for this? How long have they wanted to be the person to ask an athlete how it feels in the seconds after victory? What is the journalist feeling right after they hear the answer and offer a closing tidbit to send the broadcast back to the booth?

The NFL Super Bowl just happened in the Twin Cities, and of course, the de rigueur post game athlete interviews were right on schedule. With team sports, the journalists have multiple chances to mine for that elusive articulation of the winning feeling.

While that was happening, the fans in the stands were breaking the seats.

I want to hear the vandal-fans put their feelings into words.

“Your team just won the championship and you are destroying property. Describe how it feels to break things when you are this happy.”

Last night, I would have been happy to watch the struggle for feeling-descriptors from the person who was piloting the world-record 1,218 Shooting Star drones that were electronically added to the ceremony. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t able to do it live during the cold and windy opening event, the feelings were probably still awesome.

Amazing. Probably hard to put into words. Unbelievable.

The biggest question in life isn’t, “Will you marry me?” More important than that is, “How does it feel?”

Maybe there should be college courses where athletes can enhance their perception of what winning feels like and hone the art of assembling mere words to convey the ethereal essence of unspeakable emotions.

Competitions could be created where the interview to describe how winning feels is the event.

Imagine trying to describe what it would feel like to win that medal.

Enjoy the PyeongChang winter games and winning athlete interviews.

I will. It will be amazing.



Written by johnwhays

February 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

7 Responses

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  1. And yet in reality there is no stage, each of us is called on to be and do our utmost – to experience life to the fullest – as best we can – according to our ‘stars’.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    February 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

  2. I think the closest I have ever come to that winning feeling was watching my daughter’s team win the USAG Collegiate Nationals when she was a junior. I think I may have even felt better at that moment that if I had won.

    Jim Parker (@drjparker)

    February 10, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    • As a parent, I know exactly what you mean.


      February 10, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      • That said, as time goes on, this goes beyond the realm of being a parent, we experience ever more joy in others’ success, for how our hopes are pinned on human endeavour. What a privilege even to be on the sidelines and cheer them on! And, although we are little and seemingly insignificant on the sidelines, together we can be amazingly supportive. For it is true: no man is an island. Success is the little child that rides on the giant that is the immensity of human (and environmental) culture. It is not small achievement.

        Ian Rowcliffe

        February 11, 2018 at 9:33 am

      • ‘Not’ = ‘not a’

        Ian Rowcliffe

        February 11, 2018 at 9:37 am

      • Absolutely, Ian. I suppose this is why there is this never-ending quest to share that indescribable moment that I am poking a little fun at. All of our hopes are pinned on the collective achievement being represented in the individual moments of blissful victory.


        February 11, 2018 at 10:09 am

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