Hello, friends. Happy Derby Weekend. If I were you on Saturday, I’d put some money on the #4 horse, AndrewWigginsIsNotSigningToday. Call it a sure thing from your old friend Tomlin. You’re welcome.
Friends, though it may be Derby Day tomorrow, it’s also that time of year when college graduates are turned out loosely into the world to create their own futures. Along with this release into the wild comes, as usual, a formal commencement ceremony full of bells and whistles. As many of you may know, and I may have spoken at many of your own graduations, I am a very in-demand commencement speaker around the country. My schedule is sometimes booked years in advance. And as it were, just last weekend I was giving a commencement speech at Middle Cumberland Tech which I thought I might share with you here today. We’ll call it Your 2013 Commencement Speech, college grads, and I’ve no doubt it will prepare you mightily for life after college. Enjoy, or not, and I’ll see you guys next week. Have a great weekend, gang.
Esteemed Graduates of 2013,
The day has finally come. The day whereupon you’ll set out into the world to make your own futures. There will be great days, and not-so-great days, and awful days, and days which start out pretty good, then get great, and then turn out badly, and also days which start badly, then be just okay, and turn out great. You get what I’m saying.
Overall, however, it’s time to head out into the great wide open, where each of you will find yourselves and your livelihoods — the first step toward becoming who you will be. Some of you will find that road difficult, beset with obstacles. Some of you will find this path easier than you expected, blessed by good fortune. Some of you will change paths over the course of your futures, ending up far from where you started.
Some of you will move to a mid-sized city, like in California somewhere, for a job where you’re ambitious attitude may be misread by your co-workers as being a little bit obnoxious. You’ll fight this reputation tooth and nail to try to turn it around, but then you might hit someone in the nuts and threaten a play-by-play announcer, and that’s gonna look bad. When this happens, you know, just tone it down a little, that’s all.
Some of you may have it all — you may be the best in your industry, the toast of the town, adored by the masses. You may be the top story on the evening news, or the front cover of a major magazine, and everyone will love you. And then out of nowhere, the next day, some skank will blow up your spot because you showed her your penis on Twitter, and everyone will think you’re low-budget.
Some of you may decide to head out into the world, even though all of your friends are staying where they are, and even though it may be debatable if you’re really ready to leave yet, and no one will really be bothered that much, because maybe there will be, like, seven guys ready to take your spot. And everyone will be all “it’s cool, we don’t need you, dude.” So don’t worry about it.
Some of you may commit your lives to civic service, helping the people of your towns, states and country. You’ll work tirelessly to make life better for those around you, and do everything right, and then one day you might be like “Hey, that’s a cool VCR, I think I’m just going to take that home with me.” But that would be a very bad idea. Just saying.
Some of you will be have expectations heaped upon you, poised to grab the brass ring, only to have that rug yanked out from under you by an impenetrable zone defense. Don’t even worry about shaking hands with Jim Boeheim on that day.
Some of you may choose to live simple lives. And that’s fine, too. Your reward will be in your genteel interactions with others, the small moments of recognition you get for a job well done; those moments when someone turns to you and says “Plastic, please. Hey, didn’t you used to coach at Tennessee?”
It’s your future, graduates. Make it great, whatever you choose. Make us all proud. Happy graduation day, and best of luck.