To Every Hero There Is A Villain

February 11th, 2011 | by Mychal

Indulge a quick history of playwriting:

Humans like clear-cut heroes and villains. Throughout history play writers have indulged us with stories of good triumphing over evil. The hero rises above the elemental, human, or evil forces to be great.

Plays, up until the late 1800s, were happy affairs. [Editor’s note: The complete works of Shakespeare are on Line 2, Mychal.] The plays were lavish, the actors were extravagant, and the costume and makeup was gaudy.

In the late 1800s a new style of playwriting emerged. It was the style that influenced a lot of our modern-day dramas. That style? Realism.

Gone were the giant sets, the lavish costumes, and overdramatic actors. In their place were smaller stages, more minute movements, and more complex problems. The playwrights wrote about REAL life. In real life, there aren’t always clear villains and heroes. Just people. Flawed, broken, triumphant, and usually misguided people. It took a while to catch on. People wondered why would anyone want to escape to a night at the theater just to see their own human condition.

In these shows, a lot of the playwrights didn’t intend to make heroes and villains. Yet people still left the theaters interpreting what they had seen. Depending on the patron’s station in life, their personal demons, and mood at the time of seeing these shows they would turn certain characters into heroes and some into villains. Why? Because we need villains and we need heroes. For some reason, we as human beings try to simplify everything into a “he’s right and he’s wrong” philosophy.

Sometimes things just happen.

Sloan left because it was his time. Yet the fans need a reason. People don’t like to hear the explanation of “Just because” when they ask “Why”. We sometimes overanalyze and create a story that makes sense. But just because a story makes perfect sense does not make it true.

If we lose our job, the reasoning can’t possibly be that the company is downsizing. The boss didn’t see our genius, disrespected our ethnicity, or liked the hot intern better than us.

Jerry Sloan couldn’t possibly step down just because he’s just worn out. He must have been driven out of town. Deron must have broken the play one too many times. Jerry and Deron fought sometimes so that must be the problem, right? No one likes Utah, who could possibly want to play there. Larry Miller never would have allowed this to happen, etc.

People hated realism when it first hit stages in the 1800s because it portrayed the difficult grays of real life rather than the easy lessons of black and white. Life is complex. Life is confusing. There aren’t always logical explanations in life. Things happen and we are left to pick up the pieces and move on.

So as the book closes on an amazing era with Coach Sloan, let’s take a minute and enjoy what we’ve seen. We were privileged to see a special thing in sports. Coach Sloan always did things his way; you think he’d leave in a different way than his own? Sometimes life happens and there are no explanations. Let’s not ruin a great moment like this by trying to stage a witch-hunt when there’s not a witch to be found. A great person stepped down as coach yesterday and no villain needs to take credit for it.


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  1. Brian says:

    I think that what you’re trying to say is “don’t insist that there is a simplistic, single-cause explanation for Sloan leaving”. This is a good point.

    But it sounds an awful lot like you are saying “let’s not ask whether there is some problem that precipitated Sloan’s departure; things in life don’t have causes.” I disagree strongly with this sentiment. I think that Jazz fans (and management!) should be considering right now whether Sloan’s sudden resignation is symptomatic of some larger problem. We just need to be willing to accept the possibility that it isn’t, or that the larger problem is a complicated one.

  2. Wesley says:

    Here’s what Stockton had to say about the situation:

    ‎”We had our share [of rocky relationships]. I think that goes with the territory sometimes, [with] point guards and coaches. You’re kind of an extension of your coach, and you’re going to have disagreements and battles. I don’t know if that’s the root cause of all this. I would hope not. I think that if Jerry resigns, nobody’s going to run him out, I don’t care who it is. I think it’s just a sign that it was time, he’s fought a lot of battles. Maybe he doesn’t want to argue with his point guard or anybody else any more. And I think he’s earned that.”

    It looks like even Stockton had his battles with Sloan. It’s a respected and expected part of the game. It appears that in all likelihood, Sloan was just tired of that part of the coaching. I think it’s a perfectly fine and even necessary part of coaching (and playing), but Sloan just felt like he was done battling. That’s cool with me. I don’t blame D-Will – if his “clashes” with Coach Sloan reflect the same kind of philosophical conflicts that Stockton had with Coach, then I’d say it’s just a case of a 68 year old man waking up wondering why he’s still working so hard. I love that he’s going to get a chance to finally take things easy.

  3. akarmenia1 says:

    Yeah. Nothing caused it. Out of nowhere Jerry Sloan decided that he was done. It had nothing to do with the bad skid they’ve had. It had nothing to do with the fight(s) with D Will. it had nothing to do with the front office never making any big moves and improving their team. It was just out of the blue and not precipitation.

  4. D Paul says:

    Remember the story about paranoia. Some people are paranoid because someone is actually “shooting at them”. This is a Shakespearean tragedy. You got that right. Sloan was King Lear and Williams assasinated him. There is no doubt that Williams is manipulative and has a propensity for evil. Slaon was straight forward and direct. The real street kid from the U of Illinois actually surfaced. Now, look at his tattoos for “gang” symbols. When he wore “bling,bling” on the bench when he was injured, you had to know. The giant ear studs, giant ‘sundial’ watch, fancy suit, and “wow” shoes all told the real story. Then, when he didn’t have it on the next game, you knew that he had been talked to. That is the real D. Williams. You can pull a Pygmalion but he is a street kid just like Mike Tyson. When the trainer for Mike Tyson died, Tyson went downhill. Sloan was trying to keep Williams under control and act like a good citizen. Williams wants to be a “male Lady Gaga” and now he will be when he goes to L.A.

  5. Silverwulf says:

    You keep telling yourself that.
    There’s only one problem with your analogy.
    A play is fake … made up. You can make it so there’s no real answer or real truth. Why? Because it’s make believe.
    But we don’t live in a make believe world. We live in a world where, when things happen, there are reasons for them. Our lives are not a play and we don’t perform our parts on a stage … as much as the world would like us to believe.

    There were real reasons that he left, and you can continue to ignore them and hope they go away, but in the end, they won’t. Have fun with that.

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