On Mistakes

By Sean McVeigh

We did it. We made our first real mistake since taking over. It was not a huge one, thank goodness, but it happened. And you know what? I’m not too mad about it. 

Last week, we put in a Math Rocks question and a Math Rocks answer but unfortunately they did not match. (Fear not! You can check out the correct question and answer in this week’s paper on pages 28 and 33.) We heard from some of you and I’m sure there are more who saw but kept it to themselves but hey, it happens. I can promise you that there will be more mistakes in the future. We are going to do our best to try and prevent that, but we are not perfect, and it will happen. 

But isn’t that what makes it fun? It would be weird if people were perfect all the time. Mistakes are part of life. If that weren’t the case, things would be so boring. Life would be so boring. This is a universal truth, but sports are the perfect, er, a really great metaphor. What’s worse than a front-running sports fan? In sports, I actively root against perfection. I consider myself a “back-running” sports fan. Give me the worst of the worst, the down and out, the no way in hell team and I will give you a Miracle on Ice and an Any Given Sunday! Lebron James is incredible at basketball. Yeah, no kidding! Who cares? Boring! Old news! This goes for the so-called “dynasties” too. Unless it is your team, having the same two or three teams in the mix for a championship each year, regardless of the sport, is torture. Give me the team of misfits who string it all together, survive and advance. Give me the ’83 Wolfpack, give me Jeremey Lin, give me Rudy Ruettiger. 

Am I just making excuses for this mistake and future mistakes? It’s possible. Would I be saying any of this if we were still batting 1.000? Most likely not. It’s always good to preemptively cover your behind. I don’t think that is it though. The way I see it, perfection is not necessarily an achievable goal. Rather, the goal is to strive for perfection. Shoot for the top and even if you come up a bit short, you can still be proud of what you have accomplished. Difficulties will be encountered, hardships will be endured, but that is all part of the process. In my opinion, it keeps things interesting.

So, yeah, I’m not mad about our little mistake. In fact, I say let’s make a game of it. If we mess up, call us on it. Drop us a line. Let us know. (Who am I kidding, I don’t have to tell you that. This is Rockaway.) Good luck! At least we’ll know you’re reading!


A month ago, I told you I would have a name for this meandering excuse for a column. Well, mostly due to my favorite pastime, procrastination, I have failed to deliver on my promise. Listen, I’m not perfect! (See above.) 

We received a lot of feedback from people with column name ideas and I really appreciate that. One name, however, stands above the rest. Thank you to Ellen Carey for the new name: “McVeighing In.” It is obviously not being used this week but hopefully we will have a nice new header by next week.

Rockaway Stuff

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