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Here's what it's all about in sports

Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Mid-Life Crisis Center. Today we are on a quest to discover, What It's All About.

What's it all about? Some people, such as Dionne Warwick, ask Alfie. Not me. I seek the wisdom of athletes and coaches, because they seem to have all the answers. All you have to do is figure out which one to believe.

"When you play to win, that's what it's all about," Hakeem Olajuwon once said. Hakeem is a devout Muslim. He's been around. He must know what it's all about.

Or not. "If they had fun, that's what it's all about," Arnie Palmer once said about the crowd that followed him around a golf course.

Having fun is easy. I mean, I can do that.

But Peyton Manning disagrees. "To me," he said, "that's what it's all about — hard work."

Personally, I like Palmer's philosophy better.

"I was able to score," said Tiger Woods. "And that's what it's all about."

I need to score? But Bryon Russell once said, "(Karl Malone) didn't want to score. . . . He got everybody involved, and that's what it's all about."

Get everyone involved? Uncles? Friends? Neighbors? Even the guy up the street who parks a pickup on his lawn?

"I've seen (veteran guard John) Stockton play with a broken nose," said Olden Polynice. "I've seen guys play with dislocated fingers. To me, that's what it's all about."

Great, I have to break my schnoz. I guess that's why Jerry Sloan seems to have it all figured out.

"No matter who we're playing, we're finding a way and establishing good habits. That's what it's all about," said Allan Houston.

So tomorrow I start flossing.

"We had a good drive and got the job done, and that's what it's all about," John Elway said at the end of a game.

I had a good drive and got the job done recently. I sustained a one-mile drive to the grocery store and didn't crash or get a ticket.

"We're 5-1, and that's what it's all about," Wayne Chrebet said.

I'm 5-10. Where does that leave me?

"I think you should relish it," Rick Adelman said once. "That's what it's all about."

Was he talking about the playoffs, or did he just buy a hot dog?

"He made plays for himself and for others. That's what it's all about," Rudy Tomjanovich said.

I don't know about you, but I'm so confused that the room is spinning. What's it all about?

"I want a ring; that's what it's all about," says Karl Malone.

Of course Malone also said, "That's what it's all about is trying to weather the storm."

Once, after helping ball boys mop a wet floor during a game, Juwan Howard, explained, "A towel, getting down on your knees and getting down and dirty, that's what it's all about."

After a barrage of punches left him wobbly, Mike Tyson explained, "Hey, that's what it's

all about."

So I'll get beat up.

"There were a lot of dunks, a lot of highlights," Vince Carter said once. "That's what it's all about — a showcase early and try to win in the end."

So I'll make a big push when I'm 60.

"I played with a smile throughout the whole game, and that's what it's all about," says Michael Finley.

Finally, words to live by.


E-mail: drob@desnews.com