4/10ths of a Second between Immortality and Obscurity

| May 17, 2013 | 0 Comments

Olympics 1936It could be safe to assume that you do not know who Mack Robinson is.

Even if you are a fan of the Olympic Games there is a slim chance you know the name or even heard the name or seen his name in print.

However, Everyone knows who Jesse Owens is.

Sure ! He was the guy who beat the Nazi runners in the 1936 Olympics and put their “master race” national socialism hype to shame.

What is the difference between Jesse Owens and Mack Robinson besides the heroic fame of Owens and the perpetual obscurity of Robinson?

Four tenths of a second.

Yes – Robinson also put the Nazi national socialists to shame. But he did it just 4/10ths of a second behind Owens. However, is it because he simply came in second place and not first ?

Mack RobinsonRobinson came in second.

So why isn’t he also remembered as an American Hero ?

Mack Robinson is just as much an American Hero as Jessie Owens.

The reasons are numerous and speak loudly of the pitfalls of fame and how history is rewritten by the victors.

Everyone loves a winner – but that is not the reason.

At least the Pasadena, California Post Office building was named the “Matthew ‘Mack’ Robinson Post Office Building” in his honor.

Mack Robinson was a southern born native of Cairo, Georgia and his mother moved he and all his siblings to California when they were still children.

The Robinson family would still achieve fame in the world of professional baseball with Mack’s younger brother, Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson

What lessons do we come away with from this true story ?

Would Mack Robinson be the one we remember while Jesse Owens fell into historical obscurity if Robinson would had not been forced to run in the same track shoes he wore all through junior college track seasons because he could not afford new track shoes ?

Fame comes with a price. Sometimes the difference is in an extra nickle or a few extra tenths of a second. But fame is not the same thing as success. Mack Robinson was a success.

Success comes in many forms, but fame is not as sweet.

Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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