Below is the acceptance speech that I received from Jim Clark as the winner of this year's Six Degrees of MVNUSID bracket contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse. Enjoy! :)
I had a dream!
By Jim Clark (NCAA GURU)
April 4, 2012
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration of NCAA basketball prognostication in the history of our nation and the Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse.
Several weeks ago, a great American named Dave Parsons, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, sent out an email with an invitation to join the Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to many who had been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to avoid the flames of withering injustice and to correctly pick the 2012 NCAA Tournament Champion. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long nights of our captivity.
But many years later, there are many who still have not won the big prize. Many years later, the life of many in our group is still sadly crippled by the manacles of improper selections and the chains of poor decision-making. Many years later, there are Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse members living on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity which includes ownership of the Outback Steakhouse Gift Card. Many years later, Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse members are still languishing in the corners of American society and finding themselves an exile in their own land of misfortune. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to cash a check (or claim an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card). When the architects of our Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest wrote the magnificent words - “please join my group”, they were signing a promissory note to which every one of us was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men and a few women, yes, men as well as women, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card.
But there is something that I must say to you my friends who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining your rightful place you must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have never, ever come close to winning the Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for greatness left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of ridicule.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I had a dream. It was a dream deeply rooted in the quest for greatness as well as humility.
I had a dream that one day I would rise up again and live out the true meaning of the creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men (and women) are not created equal when it comes to predicting basketball games."
I had a dream that my three little granddaughters will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by whether their Grandpa won the Six Degrees of MVNUSID Bracket Contest sponsored by Outback Steakhouse.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to my office with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of the Six Degrees of MVNUSID into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and sisterhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that one day maybe each and every one of us would be privileged to redeem an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
Let freedom ring from the rolling hills of the village of Cedarville!
Let freedom ring from Mount Vernon Nazarene to Cedarville University!
Let freedom ring from every Outback Steakhouse in the USA!
Let freedom ring from everyone eating a delicious Bloomin’ Onion.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of us as God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "I have won an Outback Steakhouse Gif Card, I have won an Outback Steakhouse Gift Card! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!"