LETTER TO THE PLAINTIFF
March 3, 1995
Thank you for your wonderful letter. The things you shared were so personal and sweet you made me feel very special. It's funny, you told me once how difficult it was for you to share your feelings and yet this letter is filled with intimate detail and so very warm. You are so thoughtful and nice to me.
I called your mom and thanked her for the calendar. She is very considerate and looking through the pictures made me miss you even more. Our team is not the same without you and seeing you in those group shots was nostalgic...I found myself trying to find you in each picture....
I know what you mean about simple pleasures. In the past my life has been a whirlwind of complication and there were so many things I always felt pressured to do...clinics, speeches, national team...it always seemed so important to do everything and I never turned anything down. I lived in an airplane and I gave so many speeches to so many people I didn't even know I felt distanced from everyone and even the people like you that I genuinely liked and wanted to get close to I never had time for....
Well, I have learned many things. I learned that kind of slavery was not making me happy. Do you know that I was not even happy after we won the World Championship? I see tapes of the celebration after we won and everyone is going nuts but me. I know how I felt...incredible relief that it was over and that I had not let anyone down. I tried to resign immediately but they would not let me...in fact, I resigned the August before the world championship to coincide with my final game in the World Cup because I had seen how previous national coaches had been treated and I never wanted to give anyone the satisfaction of firing me. Charles de Gaulle once said, "Graveyards are filled with irreplaceable men" and it's a wonderful reminder to humble anyone.
I want you to know I loved last fall: Seeing us deal with adversity, climb new heights after each setback and play so brilliantly in the national final. I compare my feeling that day with the World Cup and they are total contrasts. And the best part of that amazing day was when we were walking off the field and I put my arm around your shoulders and pulled you close so I could whisper in your ear. I told you that you were wonderful and that I wanted to talk to you about building a new team from the graduation ashes of our ten seniors and I wanted to build it around your sweet spirit, your big heart and your indomitable will.
I care for you.
He had never considered coaching to be an honorable profession. His father believed that a man should put on a coat and tie every day and go to an office to work, and Anson grew up thinking that was about right. Coaching was his lark, his part-time gig. But then he dropped out of law school to coach the Carolina men's soccer team and then the women too, and after the '88 season he stopped coaching the men. The women were better.
"And they were much more enjoyable to coach," Dorrance says. "They appreciate what you do for them, and they're not afraid to manifest it: birthday cards, Christmas cards, notes, phone calls. If they're in town, they make it a point to come by."
Men? "That's not our nature. Eventually we do it, but not for 10 or 15 years. Then it dawns on us: Hey, he was O.K. We write a note and say, 'Next time I'm in town, let's have a few beers.' But that's as deep as the affection goes. We're not as equipped or inclined to share that sort of feeling as women are. Way down deep, we all like it. But men don't know how to deal with it at first."