is in his 19th season as head coach at Florida Atlantic University, where
he has compiled a record of 650-403-4. Overall, he has a record of 790-453-9 - a
.631 winning percentage - in 22 years. FAU has reached the NCAA regionals seven
times under Cooney, including each of the past four seasons. This is the third year
Cooney has offered his
thoughts on baseball - and other things - for CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
April 19, 2006
And after all this Time We're Just Like all the
In the song
Backstreets, Bruce Springsteen tells the story of a boy and his girl who, “one
soft infested summer...became friends.” They spent that season of their youth
living each night to its fullest as they swore their lives would go on forever
together. They looked to the movies to try “to learn how to walk like the heroes
we thought we had to be.” But in the end, Terry left for some other guy and the
singer realized “after all this time …we’re just like all the rest…”
He and Terry
thought that they were special. After part of one hot summer, they believed
their lives were going to be different, and that they’d “live forever on the
Nothing stays the
same. No matter what image we have of ourselves, or the plans that we make; each
day we’re faced with the reality of what we are, and what we hope to become.
For the past seven
years, Florida Atlantic baseball has been fortunate that success was a part of
our daily lives. There wasn’t a year in that stretch where qualifying for our
conference tournament was a question.
That was a worry
for “all the rest.”
I don’t mean to say
that smugly. I say it with great appreciation for the hard work of our players
and coaches, and the good fortune that has smiled on our program. Each season
has been a challenge to finish at or near the top of the standings, but this
year is different.
There are five
weekends left in the season, and we find ourselves in 10th place in the
standings, and asking ourselves this question - What will we do about it? Do we
accept the fact that “we’re just like all the rest,” or do we believe that the
summer isn’t over and we don’t need to be “hiding on the backstreets?”
My fear is that
players look around and see where we are, and how we sometimes have played, and
think that our fate is sealed, that we aren’t capable of mounting the type of
charge necessary to overcome the challenge we face. This is the place that so
many other teams have sat during the past seven years. I’ve seen many of them
answer the bell and make the tournament as the last seed and end it as
My job is to
reassure our guys that nothing is over, and we can do what we have set out to
accomplish each year. Our baseball lives are at a crossroads – we don’t seem to
be getting anywhere and nothing will go our way.
How many people
have faced that in their everyday lives?
We all have this
image of growing up in a happy, trouble-free family. We’ll meet someone special,
fall in love, marry and raise our own nice little family. Our jobs will be
meaningful and rewarding, we might even be rich. Nothing will stop us because
that’s the life that we want.
But pitchers aren’t
the only ones who throw us curveballs.
Sometimes the dream
takes a darker turn and the life we live changes from the life we hoped to live.
Marriages turn south, our children struggle to find themselves, our careers get
derailed. As we stare into a future devoid of shining light, we face the same
choice that this season presents.
If we can now face up to the fact that we can rise above being
“just like all the rest,” we’ll be stronger for whatever life’s highway brings
Trying to Rise Above (4/12/06)
Turnpike Tussle (4/6/06)
Crimson and Camels (4/4/06)
Everyone Wants to be the Man at the Top (3/28/06)
A Great Day for the Irish (3/22/06)
Renewing a Friendly Rivalry (3/17/06)
A Few Good Men (3/14/06)
Songs about Texas (3/7/06)
Regression, Depression, Confession (2/27/06)
Cardinals, Owls and Captain Albano (2/20/06)
The Salukis and No. 98 (2/13/06)
The Adkins Diet and a Sunday Split (2/7/06)
Here we go again (2/2/06)
Holy Innocents (12/28/05)
When You're Alone (10/11/05)
Another Beginning, a New Beginning, Never Forgetting (9/12/05)
Deja vu all over again (9/1/05)
(photo courtesy of FAU Media Relations Office)