Not in Our Stars, but in Ourselves


“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Cassius’s line from Julius Caesar came immediately to mind when I read a book review by Steve Almond in the New York Times.

The book, by John Branch, is called Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard. Almond’s review, entitled “The Enforcer: John Branch’s Boy on Ice” is well worth the click for anyone interested in professional hockey, but particularly for those who wonder why they might have lost interest in the sport.

Here are a few quotes from the review that I hope will tempt you to click on the link above.

“A goon is born.”

“Maybe this guy could be an animal one day.”

“No single statement captures so succinctly the harrowing nature of the Boogaard saga, the corrosive pact by which a troubled, needy boy reduces himself to savagery for the entertainment of bloodthirsty fans, the financial gain of cynical promoters and his own glory.”

“the fans who clamor for fights from the safety of their sofas, the cartel of mercenary owners who accordingly refuse to outlaw fighting”

“America’s vast athletic industrial complex, those bright arenas in which any pleas for mercy or morality are drowned out by the roar of our own barbarism.”

Very few successful organizations sell products or services that customers are unwilling to buy. Next time you think about going to a pro hockey game — or taking your child — give some thought to the words of Cassius. Not in our stars but in ourselves.