"This is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg. Fifty thousand men died right here on this field, fighting the same fight that we are still fighting among ourselves today. This green field right here, painted red, bubblin' with the blood of young boys. Smoke and hot lead pouring right through their bodies. Listen to their souls, men. I killed my brother with malice in my heart. Hatred destroyed my family. You listen, and you take a lesson from the dead. If we don't come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed, just like they were. I don't care if you like each other of not, but you will respect each other. And maybe... I don't know, maybe we'll learn to play this game like men." - Coach Boone, Remember the Titans
The turning point. It's that moment in a season we all point to where our team experiences a revolutionary transformation. They realize that their potential is only shackled by themselves and is boundless. They begin to see those beside them, not as teammates, but as brothers. It's all in that precious moment where they get up from the ground, dust themselves off and start playing like real men.
For Coach Boon in Remember the Titans, this moment came during a midnight run to Gettysburg. He led his team through the woods - through the mud and to the graves of men who fought and died in the civil war. When his group of exhausted young men gazed upon the solemn graves, something happened. All of the sudden, players like Ryan Gosling and Turk looked around and saw their brothers standing right beside them. Everything changed for this team. They went undefeated, won state, and forged a bond that holds strong - even to this day.
For the 2014-2015 Dallas Mavericks, the turning point came yesterday.
"You know, for a white guy ... it's pretty impressive." - Dirk Nowitzki, Six Flags
Hear my proclamation: This is going to be remembered as the moment the Dallas Mavericks turned things around and started playing like men.
The Mavs have been in a weird place. There is no denying the issues they've had on and off the court from Rondo yelling at his coach to Monta Ellis' moodiness. The turmoil bright. Players are taking issue with play-calling, who is closing games and, of course, money. All of these things shouldn't matter when you're this close to the playoffs and striving to be great.
Much like Coach Boone, Dirk knew that something had to change. So he led his team down 360 - through the turnstiles - through Loony Tunes Land and onto the stage to deliver one of the most inspiring speeches in U.S. history. It was short and concise, but that's all it took.
Think about the moment Shaun Livingston grabbed and pulled Dirk's balls. How angry were you? I was furious. It was like seeing someone punch a bald eagle in the face. Dirk and his flagpole are national treasures that deserves our utmost dignity and respect. For him to stand on stage and respond the way he did takes courage - exemplifying the kind of character he expects from himself and his teammates.
The delivery was perfect. Smiles all around. When you looked upon that stage, you didn't see animosity - only brothers laughing with brothers. I can't remember the last time I saw Monta Ellis experience this kind of joy.
His message was simple: We all love our penises and if I can laugh at someone trying to rip mine off, maybe you can laugh at the fact that Chandler Parsons makes more than you or that Devin Harris might have to close a game or two. In short, STOP THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF AND PLAY THE DAMN GAME.
What leadership. Dirk sacrificed his cock and balls for the greater good and was able to laugh about it. This is the turning point ... book it. Bonds have been forged. Penises have been grabbed. Look out for the 2014-2015 Dallas Mavericks.