Team Hoyt on the Today Show
January 2, 2009 6:23 AM   Subscribe

So that's where Obama got his motto. Absolutely beautiful.
posted by gman at 6:31 AM on January 2, 2009

That's quite inspiring. Not to be a total rick about this, but aren't Dick and Rick both ricknames for Richard?

What is it about these tales of overwhelming courage and struggle that cause rickheads like me to make nasty comments? My resolution for 2009 is to be a better person. Already I've rucked it up.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:37 AM on January 2, 2009

They're legendary in the tri community. I'll admit I got a little misty-eyed when they failed to meet the cutoff time for the swim in Kona a few years ago.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:41 AM on January 2, 2009

Is it true that Dick's obsession with competing so frequently led to a divorce from his wife, and Rick's mother? Because that would be unfortunate, and allude perhaps to some sort of compulsive addiction he has to his son and to competing. Still, pretty inspiring (makes my twice weekly 3-mile runs look pretty lame by comparison).
posted by billysumday at 7:00 AM on January 2, 2009

Not to be a total douche, but if I have to see or hear about this video one more time, I may seriously explode- has anybody else had overexposure to this video/story? Is it just me?
posted by prototype_octavius at 7:02 AM on January 2, 2009

They've definitely been featured on Real Sports on HBO a couple of times. Looks like first back in 2005.
posted by smackfu at 7:08 AM on January 2, 2009

The problem with these stories (or videos from 2006) is that we have no way out. We can't be critical and we can't make snotty comments. Without criticism and snotty comments, where is Metafilter?
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:24 AM on January 2, 2009

Is this that 'Rickrolling' thing I've been hearing about?
posted by ShameSpiral at 7:32 AM on January 2, 2009 [7 favorites]

Is this that 'Rickrolling' thing I've been hearing about?

Damn, that's funny! Seriously... good one, Shamespiral! You've restored my faith that under the most severe situations, under the worst of human conditions, we can still make snotty comments.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:59 AM on January 2, 2009

Without criticism and snotty comments, where is Metafilter?

Well, you can always complain about the other commenters.
posted by smackfu at 8:21 AM on January 2, 2009

Sheesh, smackfu, I am so tired of your snarkiness. Why can't you ever be upbeat?
posted by Samizdata at 8:24 AM on January 2, 2009

Sheesh, smackfu, I am so tired of your snarkiness.

Damn you Samizdata. It's a whole new year. Be nice to your neighbors!
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:27 AM on January 2, 2009

Why can't you ever be upbeat?

I had a lovely New Year's Eve in NYC.
posted by smackfu at 8:35 AM on January 2, 2009

Is this that 'Rickrolling' thing I've been hearing about?

Not a comment I'd have made. But I'll defend to the point of discomfort Shamespiral's right to make it.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:47 AM on January 2, 2009

twoleftfeet: we can still make snotty comments.

Snotty? The dude is named Rick, and the dude undoubtedly rolls.

If I were really feeling snotty, I would be asking why this glossy, saccharine glob of cheap uplift is on Mefi in the first place. Yeah, it's a good story, but...the freakin' Today show? Was there really nothing better out there - something less manipulative, with less Mariah Carey on the soundtrack? Something more in-depth? Something that touched on the possible darker side to the story billysumday alludes to?

If I were feeling super-snotty, and could gather together the necessary quantum of articulacy at this late Australian hour, I would go on a huge rant about how I, as a disabled person myself, get pretty tired of hardly ever seeing disabled people in the media except when their stories lend themselves to the kind of pious treatment the Today show accords the Hoyts. I sometimes feel that the able-bodied imagine that this is what disabled people are for - that they exist to illustrate the ability of the human spirit to triumph against incredible odds.

Here's a typical scenario: you meet a person for the first time. Introductions made, your new friend doesn't hesitate to enquire as to the exact nature of your disability, and how you came to be disabled. You give them the potted summary of relevant medical history that every disabled person has stored away in the back of their brain, ready for just such occasions. They nod sympathetically. "Still", says your new chum, "I'm sure you don't let it get you down, do you!" Because that's your job, why you're here on this earth - to grin through the hardships like you're Greer fuckin' Garson in a three-hankie weepie, inspiring all those around you with your indomitable courage.

People will insist on seeing your life through the lens of this sort of narrative, even when it doesn't occur to you that you're being particularly plucky and heart-warming - like the math teacher who stopped me as I ran across the quadrangle one day to tell me how seeing me running reminded him of Terry Fox. Well, thanks and all, but I'm late for third period English (that's why I'm, you know, running) and you just made me even later. And if you don't live up to this standard, people take it badly. As the most popular jock in my grade once said to me when I refused to attend swimming classes - "Hey man, I thought you were, like, brave, but you're just a pussy."

I'm not saying that stories like the Hoyts' shouldn't be told. But, Jesus, a crip shouldn't have to traverse the Gobi desert in a wheelchair just to get his face on the telly. We can do other, more normal stuff, too. Like, a person in a wheelchair could sit on his/her ass and read an autocue - why not have one be a host on the Today show - that might be much more of a breakthrough.
posted by ShameSpiral at 9:15 AM on January 2, 2009 [24 favorites]

Nice stuff, Shamespiral. My own point of view is similar. Thanks.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:26 AM on January 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I used to watch the Boston Marathon from midway up heartbreak hill. Seeing these two go up that hill, year after year, was amazing.
posted by zippy at 10:02 AM on January 2, 2009

posted by not applicable at 11:55 AM on January 2, 2009

Thank you for that inspiring comment, ShameSpiral.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:18 PM on January 2, 2009


Check the last link in the FPP -- "(prev)."
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on January 2, 2009

Definitely a double-post, but worth it if only for ShameSpiral's comment.
posted by explosion at 12:43 PM on January 2, 2009

Ah, the Hoyts. A very inspiring story but as told by the Today Show it couldn't be presented in a more mawkish, heavy-handed fashion. I found the last bit where the reporter was telling Hoyt Sr. of how he feels and how he is a hero to his son. What godawful "reporting".
posted by ooga_booga at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2009

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