Jim Valvano’s ESPY Speech Never Gets Old


Today is a dark day in American sports.  Or maybe boring is a more apt adjective for the day.  You see, today is the only day of the year in which there is no game from any of the four major sports, MLB, NBA, NFL, or NHL.  This happens every Wednesday following the MLB All Star Game, and ESPN, with the marketing juggernaut that they are saw an opportunity.  They decided to put their sports awards show, the ESPY’s, on this night to fill a void and grab some viewers.  The ESPY’s are an award show in the vein of the Academy Awards, and started back in 1993.  And in 1993, the ESPY’s produced their best, and probably only great moment when the magnanimous Jim Valvano gave one of the greatest speeches of all time.

Unless you are a huge NC State fan, you have probably only seen two things about Jim Valvano.  One is his NC State Wolfpack beating the top ranked and loaded with NBA talent Houston Cougars, nicknamed Phi Slama, Jama, for the National Championship in 1983.  And two was his diagnosis with metastatic adenocarcinoma leading to his ESPY speech.  I have posted a video of the entire speech, as well as the most famous excerpt from the speech.

To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.

Watching and listening to the entire speech is definitely worth your time, even if you are already familiar with it.

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