Followers of this blog are familiar with Teddy Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech, in which Roosevelt praised the virtue of those who strive for greatness even in the face of failure. Arizona Senator John McCain read from the speech in a recent ESPN profile of the Let Teddy Win movement, and quotes from the speech have long been available on our t-shirts.
On Thursday night, the Nationals faced elimination in the National League Division Series playoffs, and so veteran infielder Mark DeRosa chose the occasion to read Teddy’s words to the team before the game.
DeRosa, the only member of the Nationals with an Ivy League degree, told reporters that he reads the speech to himself before big games, but this was the first time he read it out loud.
“I wanted to say something that brought the whole team together, a band of brothers,” DeRosa said.
“With our backs against the wall, I wanted to say something that brought us together, a little band of brothers to go out and fight and see what happens,” he told The Post later. “I feel that was fitting.”
“Epic,” Drew Storen added. “The stuff movies are made of.”
So you don’t have to look it up, here it is:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.