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.