Sports columnist Rick Reilly once wrote that weekend golfers invariably claim, “I’m a good golfer. I’m just not consistent.”
Well, he said, if you’re not consistent, you’re not a good golfer.
Americans are great at building things, and rotten at maintaining them.
We admire winners and celebrities, but we overlook the loyal spouse or the honest accountant or the people who maintain our bridges – that’s why they’re falling apart.
So, let this be a salute to consistency – that most unheralded virtue.
In 1984, Red Berenson took over Michigan’s moribund hockey program, which had not been to the NCAA tournament in seven years. Berenson thought it would be easy, but it took seven more years to get Michigan hockey back to the big dance in 1991.
Once they got into the tournament, they made it a point to stay there. Year after year, they kept coming back.
Finally, in 1996, they won Michigan’s first national title in 32 years – and they did it again in 1998. They’ve come close a few times since, but they have yet to win another.
This bothers Berenson, one of the most competitive men I’ve ever met. When he visited my class, I listed his many accomplishments on the board.