Grrr! What's in Your Wallet?

What's in Your Wallet? | Grrrs Gone Wild | Your Grrrs

What's in Your Wallet?

The question, as seen on television, is more like a threat. If you carry the right credit card, you won't die at the hands of raiding Vikings.

But let's take that question one step further and ask, what else, besides credit cards, business cards or money, do you carry in your wallet?

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Is it a picture of your family, your pet or your significant other? Or is it something even more private? Is it something that means something important only to you?

I used to carry a love letter that Lori, my high school sweetheart, wrote to me. I found it in her jewelry box after she was killed in a car accident. She wrote it, put it in an envelope addressed to me at college, but she never sent it.

She never got the chance.

I found the letter while picking through the various necklaces and earrings that I gave her over the years, searching for the one piece I would put in her casket for her to take with her. I carried that letter for more than a decade. I still have it, but it no longer goes with me everywhere I go. It's now replaced with pictures of my daughter.

So what's the point?

Believe it or not, the letter and the memories it brings back to me were inspired by a recent book I read called "Coach," by Michael Lewis, the author of "Moneyball" and "Liar's Poker."

The book brought back memories of my years as a high school wrestler, and the coach who inspired me to push myself harder and harder, day in and day out, season after season.

"Coach" is a story about a high school baseball coach whose military-like discipline in today's world -- where kids are bequeathed with self-esteem at birth by "well-intentioned parents" -- has become passé.

Coach Fitz, according to Lewis, taught life lessons way beyond the field of play. Coach Fitz is a dinosaur, and so many coaches like him across all kinds of sports are in danger of becoming extinct in America.

Don't forget that it was the dinosaur that taught the cavemen about survival of the fittest, and without those tough lessons, where would we be today as a civilization?

But it's just a game, you say.

The point is, self-esteem has to be earned, and for many of us, that comes from competitive sports.

Parents can't inspire greatness in their children by constantly patting them on the back, win or lose, or from protecting them from a mean coach who yelled at little Johnny or suspended little Suzie from the team because she was caught drinking at a party -- a party where the booze was supplied by mommy and daddy!

At some point in our lives we have to be held accountable for our failures in order to ever achieve success. I know that this column will offend many parents who believe that protecting their children from hurt is of the utmost importance, but what kind of world do you live in?

What's in your wallet? What was it that made you who you are? What inspired your success? What life challenges did you overcome, but more importantly, what did you learn along the way that helped you pull through?

The answer might just be, Coach. (And yes, the dinosaur and cavemen is metaphorical).

Grrrs Gone Wild

-- Don't you hate when you go to the doctor for an appointed time, a time they provided, and you end up waiting two hours in the reception area? And then when you do go in, you sit in the treatment room for another 30 minutes before the doctor comes in. Grrr!

-- Imagine if weathercasters were fired for getting it wrong?

-- If I click on your news story, don't send me to a form to fill out, because I'll find the story somewhere else.

-- Speaking of TV, stop promoting upcoming shows with those annoying pop-ups that appear at the bottom right of the screen. You can do it during commercials all you want, just not during the show I'm currently watching. Grrr!

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on