Like most lawyers, I work between 60 to 80 hours per week. And like most lawyers, I need a non destructive outlet. Mine is running. Because of athletics I had to run. I never knew I actually liked running until I got to where I didn’t have to do it. After a couple of very uneventful and nondescript years of playing college basketball I eschewed my two remaining years of eligibility and declared for the NBA draft. When the laughter finally stopped and the draft was complete, my name was nowhere to be found on any team. Back in the day (1980’s) there were about 100 rounds in the NBA draft. If I recall correctly 2 cats, a horse named “Jellybean” and a cactus were the last four “players” selected in the draft. Given this stunning development that Fluffy the cat had more promise as a player than I did, apparently I was going to have a great deal of time on my hands so, opposite of Seinfeld, I chose to run.
Runners will tell you that running mile after mile provides joyful peace. A vacuum to think, plan, prepare, pray, contemplate or otherwise enlighten the inner being we refer to as our soul. I have found something far more enlightening and entertaining to do while I run: listen to sports radio. Not just generic sports radio but local call in shows. To those not familiar with the ways of the south (and especially Alabama), people take their college sports and their team pretty dad gum serious. No one is ever lacking for an opinion and it seems that everyone who calls has the answer as to why Billy Ray Bob keeps gettin’ sacked or how the boys “just ain’t in shape”. After a loss the team has got to do a better job of, well, everything. Almost every caller will tell their respective coach what the coach and the team did wrong last week and what they need to do to ensure a victory this coming Saturday. As I listen to all this advice I begin to piece mental pictures of these enlightened sages. Bubba calling from the ice making plant, who can’t hold a job, who probably drinks a wee too much on days with the letter “y” in them and who has started a rigorous exercise and weight loss program for the 73rd time since 1986 is going to tell a coach about discipline and how to run his team. Bubba is going to instruct an AD how to run a multi-million dollar entity. Bubba can’t even scrape up enough money to buy his Marlboro Reds and a six pack of cheap beer. However, he has all the answers. And so on and on it goes. It seems that “experts” come from all walks of life and despite a significant lack of accomplishment in anything, these experts are never lacking for an opinion on how to do it better. What “it” is does not matter. Pick a topic, any topic, and voila, here comes the blathering “experts”. Far too often the same applies to so called experts regarding legal matters. Never, ever should the actual facts get in the way of good, agenda based story. Want a gazillion dollars? Spill some coffee in your lap.
While I was clerking for a hard-nosed tough attorney I asked a particularly idiotic, dumb question to a client. This question was worse than my normal drivel. I was given some sound advice by the attorney that I have tried to follow but often fail at doing so: it is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubts.
Perhaps some “experts” could benefit from this advice.