What 100% Means

Wayne_Gretzky
Wayne Gretzky by kris krüg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Thus spaketh The Great One, an inspirational quote that holds much power in its brevity. And yet, there is a depth to Wayne Gretzky’s wisdom that we don’t often think about. Let’s look at the numbers.

894

That’s how many goals Gretzky scored over a legendary career in the NHL. 894 is a tangible number. Our evolved monkey brains have a hard time visualizing large numbers, but 894 is not so large we can’t get a sense of what it means.

No doubt about it, many of those goals approached the Platonic Ideal: clean breakaway, beating the netminder. But how many were odd bounces? The puck hitting a defenseman and slipping in? Greasy goals? Goals that were shot by another player, but just happened to deflect off of Gretzky’s stick before going in? We remember the perfection, but you don’t get to 894 by being perfect every time.

1,963

More than twice the number of goals Gretzky netted is his number of assists. Gretz could have just as easily said, “Your teammates miss 100% of the goals you don’t set them up for.”

Gretzky had a crisp pass, and the hockey IQ to know when to use it. He didn’t have to be the rockstar every time. When your entire team is working toward the same goal, you all share in the victories, even when someone else takes the ultimate credit.

17.57%

The man who, to this day, holds or shares 61 NHL records is way down at number 44 on the NHL leaderboard for shot percentage. 82.43% of the time–5,090 shots on goal–he didn’t score.

And that doesn’t take into consideration shots he took that don’t register as shots on goal: blocked by a defenseman, hit a post, went wide. If you only focused on the misses, excluding all the goals and assists, you could easily think of The Great One as The Great Loser. Crazy, right? We do it to ourselves all the time.

100%

The full quote is, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, even though there is only a 1-5% chance of scoring.”

Success can be greasy or quirky; the result of error or a weird bounce. Success may not even be your own, but the “loose change” a teammate knocks in.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” but that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful 100% of the time. Your shots may be swallowed up by a threshold guardian who stands between you and success. Your shots may go wide. The fact is, you will fail more than you succeed. We all will.

That doesn’t mean stop trying.

On the Care and Feeding of a Showgirl

As published in the Spring 2013 issue of Bachelor Pad Magazine.

By Mr. Snapper

Congratulations! You managed to land yourself a showgirl, garnering the envy of every man. Now, how do you keep her? The showgirl is really no different from any other girl, minus one crucial thing: the “show.” Pull up a martini and take out your notebook, fellows. Mr. Snapper is going to tell you how it’s done.

1. HOUSEWORK. You have won the romance lottery. Why bicker over who washes the dishes? Every minute she spends in an apron over sink full of sudsy water is a minute not spent putting rhinestones on a g-string. A relationship is give and take, and I’m not saying you need to become her manservant. I’m saying fold some laundry from time to time. Women are attracted to men who know how to take care of themselves, and that includes cooking and cleaning. Remind her that you know how to do those things, especially if she’s in the middle of building a corset or choreographing a fan dance.

When it’s show time, attend to her dinner needs. She has enough on her mind without having to figure out what to nosh on. And the way artists work, she may actually forget to eat, and won’t feel it until the adrenaline from the performance wears off. And believe me: there are few things worse than a starving, worn out showgirl at 2 am.

2. CARRY THE CASE. After a show, she’s exhausted. Her feet are killing her, she wants to take off those false eyelashes, yet she still has to keep on a bright face for her adoring fans. Unburden her. In spite of all that feminism jazz, they still appreciate it when you offer to carry their case. If you are in a relationship with a showgirl, you don’t even have to ask. Just put your hand out for the case, and she’ll hand it over, relieved to be free of it. You know why all the ladies love Mr. Snapper? I carry the case. If I had a nickel for every time some showgirl saw me carrying the case and said, “I wish I had a Mr. Snapper,” I could retire to Costa Rica.

3. CONTRIBUTE. Does she need a prop for her next number? Do you happen to know how to sew? Can you learn the difference between a Crystal AB Preciosa and a Korean-made Clarus? Congratulations, pal. You can help cement things with the showgirl by helping her get things done. You have the rare backstage glimpse at how much work goes into a three minute-long number. Offer to knock a couple of those “to-do’s” off her list. But remember: It’s her act. There’s being helpful and there’s imposing your opinions on what she’s doing. Get to know the difference.

4. DON’T BE AN IDIOT. Too many times I hear about a guy who has taken some showgirl off the market, only to insist she “tone things down” or quit burlesque altogether. Idiot! Remember what attracted you to her in the first place? Why would you want to shut that down? Don’t let jealousy cloud your judgment. Know that what she does on stage is mere fantasy; you get the real deal in the privacy of your own bedroom (or dungeon, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

On a related note, don’t smother her. She’s a human being, and human beings need room to breathe. If the relationship is happening, you can ease back and let it happen. If you obsess over her, there won’t be enough room for both of you in the relationship.

5. DON’T BE A CREEP. Become romantically entangled with a showgirl, and you will have gained some entree into the backstage lives of other showgirls. Remember: Their eyes are on their faces, and just about any joke you want to make will be inappropriate. Be cool and be friendly. And if you hit on her friends, you’re a tool who doesn’t deserve any girl, show or not.

In conclusion: make her life a little easier. Part of this is “The Golden Rule,” and part of it is common sense. Make yourself an indispensable part of her team and you’ll be picking glitter out of your chest hair for many years to come. Start acting like a clingy, stifling jerk and you’ll be back in the peanut gallery drowning your sorrows in cheap whiskey.