Having been a musician, technician or producer my entire life, that saying has a lot of meaning for me. The house is packed with paying customers, there is no makeup date and if you don’t go on, your career might be over.
I've played shows where we should have canceled. The bass player was on his back the entire show one night, only occasionally rolling over to puke in a bucket because he’d been bit by a mosquito on a jungle tour the week before and had Dengue Fever. But we played.
I played through a dislocated wrist, 5 shows a week getting treatment all day and playing with one hand all night. (Shut up Yellowbeard, Densa and Jed, I meant playing DRUMS with one hand all night!) I even turned off a Matlock marathon to make a show!
My favorite memory was after 378 shows without a cancellation across 3 countries…a groupie made us brownies and did not tell us they were "special". The singer and I were not ones to partake in that stuff, we just liked our beer and he wigged out. There we were at the Hard Rock Café in Puerto Vallarta, line out the door, packed house. And we were about to cancel because the singer was too stoned to face a crowd.
But had we canceled, it might have been our last show, so we played without him. It was not pretty, but it was not a cancellation, we had a happy crowd. The Show Must Go On.
Switching gears, my brother is a firefighter, currently a Chief; his role takes this meaning to a new level. I remember vividly one of the nights I rode along with him years ago when a child was hit by a car, the driver took off. Kid was 12 years old, same age as my nephew (his son). Looked a lot like him too and I could tell the resemblance was not lost on my brother.
At the time, he was the emergency medical supervisor, he responded to all calls of a certain magnitude to be the senior person on site. We arrived and the medics were doing what they could, they looked up to him as we walked up and said he’s got internal bleeding and some other medical jargon I did not understand, other than it was bad.
I had a very young son myself who was too little to ride a bike but for all of you parents out there, you understand the feeling. You want to run home and wrap your child in a protective bubble, it’s a terrible feeling.
I've never had an issue with gore, but the emotional part wrecks me. By brother went in to make his own evaluation, he agreed with his medics, this kid was in bad shape and needed to get to a hospital ASAP.
As they were arranging for the copter to come in and transport, the child’s mother arrived. It’s hard to hold back the tears as I remember this. She did not speak much English and as she was running towards us, my brother yelled at the closest cop to hold her back. Like any mother, she just wanted to hold her son and tell him it would be OK.
The officer was very young and froze, leaving me the last thing between her and the needed treatment taking place. I too froze and did not know what to do. My brother left the child’s side and grabbed her, restrained her.
He looked into her eyes doing his best to speak her language saying, "MA’AM! Listen to me, your son is hurt real bad, but my best medics are at his side and they are trying to save him. I need you to calm down and let them work, we can’t save him if you don’t let us work!"
To his credit, the young officer stepped in and took control of her freeing my brother up. It was likely a defining moment in his career.
A few days later we had a cookout at my brother’s place and I could tell he was not himself. I asked what was up and he told me the kid died that morning in the hospital. I said damn man, what happened? There was too much damage, nothing could have saved him.
I asked how he can do it, how do you go back to work after a day like that? He said, because we save a hell of a lot more than we lose. You just have to block it out and move forward. The Show Must Go On.
So what does this have to do with the Cowboys? Nothing, no wait, everything! I’ve heard people claim that the FO and coaches are "hoping" players regain health or play up to their level. To this I yell a hardy BS! They are not hoping, they are preparing.
Other than Orton, these players are determined and busting their butts to be great. They are putting in the work, it’s not just talk.
The coaches lost exactly 3 seconds over Sean Lee. Did you see the video? He was not even off the field before practice resumed. 4 minutes into this video, hard to watch, but they just moved on while he was down. http://www.dallascowboys.com/multimedia/videos/OTAs-LIVE-Sean-Lee-Goes-Down-With-An-Injury/11ce44f5-6101-44a3-967c-cd4b35d3b3e6 The team is bigger than the player.
I guarantee you Rod is not thinking we have no chance with this D. I promise you he is figuring out how to make the guys he has successful.
Nobody is hoping, nobody is freezing and nobody is giving up. How do you go to work when you lose Ware, Hatch and Lee? Because the show must go on and we believe we’re going to win more than we lose.
It does not matter what the odds are, what the names on the jerseys are, or who’s gone. Right now, the entire team is fighting for its future. There is not a safe player or coach. Murray, Dez and Smith are fighting for new deals. Twill is fighting to prove he’s the #2. Free wants a new deal, Romo needs to prove he’s healthy, Carter is fighting for a deal, Carr is fighting to keep his job after this year, the entire coaching staff is on the bubble and it goes on and on.
One thing is certain, we will show up and play the game. We will be ready and we will give 100%. Because The Show Must Go On.
And I for one am glad I have a ticket!