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|Some people have grown a little tired of the Sox.|
|Gotta appreciate the breath of fresh air from Byron Leftwich.|
Trust me: the world will be a better place. Look, there's nothing wrong with a genuine mea culpa. To the contrary, heartfelt remorse is painful, powerful and absolutely necessary, an emotional salve like no other. Just so long as one actually means it. Problem is, we often don't. After shoving a camera operator to the ground, Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers read a written apology to a group of reporters; days later, he jawed with another cameraman during his police booking. Tennis players feign remorse when shots hit the netcord and drop for points. Guess what? They don't ask for do-overs. Watch the Academy Awards. Winners always claim they're sorry the other nominees can't join them on stage -- but has anyone ever offered their gold statuette to a peer they believed was more deserving? Hint: Kevin Costner still has his 1990 best director award for "Dances With Wolves." Shut out that year? Martin Scorsese. For "Goodfellas." Oy. Think, too, of everyday life, of the 1,001 sham apologies served up at the great Altar of Getting By: • At work: Sorry I didn't return your call about that boring project I have nothing to do with. Wait -- I missed a meeting, too? Darn. • At home: Really regret watching football instead of mowing the lawn. Promise I'll get to it after "SportsCenter." The 11:00 p.m. edition. • In the parking lot: My bad for swooping in on that prime space. You waiting for it? Funny, I didn't see your lime-green Suburban. Must be these glasses. You say I'm not wearing any? Er, I meant contacts. Search your feelings. Is this any way to live? At best, ersatz mea culpas act as a cheap and easy social lubricant; at worst, they're a fundamentally disingenuous form of Kabuki. Either way, the awful truth is a better option. Consider the behavior of young children, told to say sorry by parents or teachers. Eyes roll, then wander. Tones range from subdued to sullen. Actual apologies are clipped and distracted. Add a podium, and the whole scene could be mistaken for one of Bill Belichick's midweek press conferences. Why so awkward? Easy. Kids haven't learned how to lie yet. Even in the adult world, insincere apologies are only as good as the dissembling talents of the people delivering them. As such, they fail to solve real conflicts. Both parties end up unsatisfied and resentful. Long-term rapprochement is junked for short-term appeasement, the kind that got Neville Chamberlain into all sorts of trouble. Fortunately, Leftwich exemplifies the alternative: brutal, liberating honesty. Imagine a world where pretend remorse is obsolete, where bona fide apologies are no longer cheapened by a flood of fake ones. Greater clarity. Less confusion. Such are the benefits. Go back to Rogers. If you're a cameraman, does it help to hear the verbal equivalent of writing "I will play nice with others" 100 times on a chalkboard? Or would you rather know where the volatile Rangers pitcher really stands? Yes, camera guys deserve to get shoved and I hope they burn in hell! See? The latter is vastly preferable, in part because it informs you where to stand vis-a-vis Rogers (far, far away, like in another zip code). Better still, the tortured syntax of lawyer-crafted non-apologies becomes a thing of the past.
|How many people believed Kenny Rogers, particularly after his second cameraman run-in?|