It was lovely to be able to work from home yesterday afternoon and have the cricket on in the background. England Pakistan is finely balanced at the Oval. When the camera panned to the England dressing room, also Surrey home quarters, a huge quote is plastered in capitals on the balcony wall.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” Thomas Jefferson
I was immediately appalled.
Thomas Jefferson? Who on earth is he? Realistically, he is nobody. You see, this is the ground of an English team. Say that again, an English, team. Not some upstart premier league club owned by arrogant Americans. Straw poll: how many of the current Surrey squad even know who is? Supplemental question: how many even give a monkeys?
What do they care about a third president of America? Would they even know him? Should they? What does it say about homegrown inspiration? Is there really such a paucity of local sages that they must dredge at such level for motivation? What the Dickens were Surrey thinking?
Think about putting yourself in similar shoes to officialdom there in Kennington. You’re giving a talk to rally the troops. You’re somewhere with an audience oceans away, mentally and physically, from the USA about to present. You pull up the slide with your favourite quote. What would really be the reaction to using one like that?
Good on America for evidently owning a lasting quote in this field. Shame on Surrey. I’m actually on their mailing list (I used to live nearby and went to a few games) so I’m emailing them for their side of the story. Bottom line, make your quotes relevant.