Remember those corny T-shirts that were popular in the late '80s and early '90s, No Fear gear?
I'm ashamed to admit I thought they were so cool that I had several of them, along with several Big Johnson T-shirts, which spun sexual innuendo out of wink-wink cartoon images and slogans involving over-sized surfboards, fire engines, and 4x4 pickup trucks with giant tires.
But back to No Fear. You may recall each shirt had a different theme and slogan. My favorite when I was young and dumb-er was this one:
I remember when my dad finally got fed up with this 2nd Place shirt and told me to quit wearing it, at least in his sight. In all my "wisdom" I tried to argue to my pops that the shirt wasn't crude or mean. It was a philosophy. And I wore it 'cause no one ever remembers the second guy - whether the second place guy, or the second-in-command, or whatever. Everyone easily remembers whoever's first - first place, in charge, etc. But second? With exceptions like the name of the Vice President of the United States, I usually have to think about it.
I know, for example, that Chad Pennington is the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. But if you held a gun to my head right now I couldn't name the Fins' number two back.
That was my 16-year-old logic back in the day. Dad always said I was goofy for thinking that way. Eventually I grew up and agreed with him.
No doubt most of you agree with him too.
It goes without saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being second - second place, second-in-command, runner up, etc.
But just for fun and old times sake, let's test my old T-shirt philosophy.
What is the name of the Co-pilot AKA Second-in-command from US Airways Flight 1549 (the one that safely crash-landed on the Hudson River last week)? And don't tell me Jesus. That only works on bumper stickers.
No worries. I didn't know at first, either.
So allow me to offer belated congratulations to First Officer Jeffrey Skiles, of Oregon, Wisconsin, the other hero on Flight 1549.