My Blog

That just happened. Again.

September 05 2011

8th place Olympic final 2008

Dropped the stick in the 4x100m Olympic games 2008

8th place 100m World Champs 2009

DQ’d 4x100m World Champs 2009

5th place in a semifinal at World Champs 2011

DNF in the 4x100m World Champs 2011

Separated collarbone. Out for the rest of the season

I thought I was upset after the 200m semis. I thought that I disappointed my country then. I was wrong. I guess in my case, disaster strikes thrice. And now I’m out with a season ending injury – for the second year in a row.

Man. THAT burns.

If you grab any athlete after a disappointing performance they’ll tell you, “I’ll live to compete again – at least I’m healthy.”

Sure, I’ll live to compete again, but I’m not healthy. And I won’t be for 6-8 weeks. After the semis – I was determined to come back and smash the season – and the relay was the first thing on my list. We worked hard. We were focused. We were prepared. It was time for us to put the 4x100m relay team back on the map – and we were all committed to it.

I’ve watched the relay replay a million times, and now I know that there is absolutely nothing I could have done to avoid falling…but when I hit the ground my life hit the ground right with it. I was crushed. I was asked to lead our team, and I let them down. Not because of anything I did, but because of what happened. And I questioned God. I wanted to know “why me?” “why me again?” “why now?” “what does this mean?” “what am I supposed to learn from all of this?”

And I don’t mean to get churchy on yall, but you know, when life sucks it’s all I’ve got. When life is off the chain, it’s all I’ve got. It is what it is – and I refuse to just leave that part out. It is what gets me through.

And, I’m not looking for sympathy either. There is definitely more to this story than me. I guess you can call me the “co-star” in a horror movie, but my fall impacted two other teams. Because I fell, the Trinidad and Tobago team was unable to finish their race like they should have. The same thing happened to Great Britain. And my team mates, Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Walter Dix, Maurice Mitchell, and Travis Padgett were denied the opportunity to medal. They worked just as hard as I did to get to Daegu. My heart goes out to them – all of them. They are all great athletes, and they didn’t ask for any of this. For that matter, neither did I. Either way, I hate that this happened because this was the relay that the world had been waiting to see.

Anyway, I have to thank my teammates. The men and women of the Team USA 4x100m relays.They were all there after my fall. They helped me get up off that track. They encouraged me to be strong. They said, “Don’t let them see your pain. Get up. We’re with you.” I love them for that. I love them for being there for me even though they were hurting too. If anything, this was a true test of teamwork and we passed with flying colors.

And for all of you – my fans and supporters – I can’t begin to express how much your emails and Facebook posts and DMs and phone calls have meant to me. You have given me another reason to keep trucking. I’ve never seen such a selfless outpouring of love and support in my life. I’m grateful for it all. I’m grateful for you guys.

And…before I wrap up this blog…I want you “other” folks to know – I’ve been on Twitter and I’ve seen the tweets. I’m the “relay jinx.” I’m a “@^#% up for the United States.” I “should never touch a relay baton again” in my life…I’m a “^@&%$ failure”…I’m a “nice guy,” but I “can’t run a relay.” The list goes on…

I guess that’s supposed to insult me or hurt my feelings. It’s cool – and it’s also juvenile. I don’t say that to be disparaging. Folks are entitled to their opinions, and that’s mine. Truth be told, I’ve been called worse where I come from. It’s no skin off my back. Anyone who has eyes, ears, or an internet connection knows that the DNF was due to a freak accident. Sure, some folks are just pissed. I get that. But there’s a difference between being pissed and being real. Here’s what’s real:

This had nothing to do with my skill or professionalism. I did not drop the baton. This had nothing to do with the USA’s ability to get the stick around. But it DID have everything to do with an unfortunate accident that happened to involve me. Those are the facts. Take ‘em or leave ‘em.

What is happening to me is no different than what happened to Romo last year. He had a good year – except for the interceptions. They seemed to overshadow his success and folks ridiculed him. Were all of them his fault? Nope. But, he was the leader of a losing team that failed to make it to the Super Bowl for another year. It was his responsibility to make things happen. No excuses. And then he got hurt – a broken clavicle. How’s that for irony? Now ask yourself…are the Cowboys any less of America’s Team? Of course not.

I know I’m no Romo, but I drew that parallel to say that “the absolute beauty of sport is that it’s unscripted.” You have to learn how to improvise, rehearse, come back for the next show, and do it all over again and again. I’ve had time for my tears and my anger and my frustration. I’m done with that. Are you?

It’s important to remember that you can’t rip athletes and teams because they falter. We’re no less human than you. No less susceptible to the whims of life than anyone else. We just have a different job description and a different stage to work on. You have the luxury of watching and writing about it. We live it. We breathe it. If you really believe that you’re a true fan, you’ll roll with the punches – good, bad and otherwise. All I ask is that you roll with me and Team USA.

And, lastly, I usually don’t do this, but for the super original comedians out there who will try to “answer” the questions I asked earlier – for now you can kick rocks – you clearly have not reached the level of maturity you need to have an intelligent conversation about athletics. There’s a bumper sticker that perfectly describes what happened on Sunday morning. Go read it. Then try to stay upright after hitting a 225 pound lineman (without pads or a helmet) while running 20 mph around a curve. Your time will come, and you’ll likely have the good fortune of experiencing that moment by yourself instead of on an international stage. No matter the when or the where, I hope that your lessons in faith and perseverance aren’t as trying as mine.

I’m done. It’s all love on my end, and it’s on to the next one. I’ll be back. Team USA will be back, and I hope you’ll be there for the party because it is going to be the truth. Just wait for it.

  • Alecia Descartes Esby

    heart felt Doc. as i said you are an exemplary and distinguished gentleman..love always…nuff jamaican love

  • Run4fun1987

    Always remember my Bro, my track frat Bro that God is always n control. He never n never will give you more than you can handle. And remember to always give him the praise no matter what. Remember thousands didn’t make it that far. You’ll b back. Coach Shawn, I coached Mark Jelks n HS and he’ll be back as well. 2012 I’ll b there.

  • Robert Earl Dean

    Doc, I am probably one of the biggest USA track & field fans in the world and I praise God for your consistency. In life we all go through many tests and trials, but it is the one that endures till the end. I’m assistant track coach at San Diego State and we as coaches and athletes can not foresee anything, which is what makes sports so enjoyable.PLEASE keep your head up and know that God is not through blessing you. It is through these times that God’s love & direction prevails.
    Be blessed and know that it’s not over…..till God says it’s over.

  • Robert Moise

    #GSHiT…..respactable and real athlete…stay up

  • #1FAN

    Its unfortunate that such an event had to happen to you of all people but the true fans stick by you no matter what, you’re an excellent athlete and no one can take that from you, this may seem unbearable for you but i know that the lord has a reason for everything and i know you will get your time to shine at the London Olympics. Stay humble and dont let the hate get to you. God Bless !

    -A True Fan of Doc and Track & Field

  • http://twitter.com/erinverbeck Erin Verbeck

    This blog just confirms, once again, your professionalism and why we, as Americans, are privileged to have you represent our nation in this relay. There are about 2% of people who will be haters no matter what. They have closed hearts and are filled with hatred. Don’t let them ever get into your head. You are better than that. Keep believing and heal fast.

  • Kip

    Doc- you’re a class act in life and in our sport. I have had the privilege to be in several of the events you’ve taken part in, and I can say with pride that you’re a true gentleman and a great family man. What happened in Daegu is something No human can control especially in your event. It was simply a freak accident, which happened at a wrong time!

    What I know is that you were out there doing your absolute best for TeamUSA and the unthinkable happened to you. Be proud, keep your head up and no more apologies. You’ve said enough and now it’s time to take care of your injury.

    As one of your teammates, I have faith in God that he will look after you and you’ll return to the top for the London Games.

    Quick recovery. I’m proud of you.

    Your Teammate.
    Bernard Lagat

  • Big time track fan

    Hi Doc, so bummed about your fall and injury but you’ll be back! I was just talking to my young son about how little real control we have over much of life. But what we can control is who we are as people…good person, good father, good friend. The rest we have to let go and take a leap of faith. That is what you do, Doc! All the best to you!

  • http://hurdler49.wordpress.com/ Joboy Quintos

    Good stuff Doc! Well said.

  • http://twitter.com/NoahsDadDotCom Noah Smith

    Well said. Appreciate that sort of attitude! Love ya man!

  • Brett Hoover

    Doc… Get healthy! Look forward to the return. Be well!

  • John

    Well said Doc. You WILL be back, and we’ll be happy to see such a great runner and human being return to the track!

  • Jross34

    “The harder you fall, the higher you bounce.”
    – American Axiom

    Keep your head up Doc: you do all us proud.

  • guest

    You were running an incredible race, and as I saw it, a freak accident really was the cause. The media truly owes you an apology, though you will never hear one becaue they have essentially latched onto the story that you (and the American relay teams) can’t get it right. It is unfair, and I believe that had the accident not occurred, the race would have been a close one to the finish for gold. God bless.

  • Patricia Kitto

    So sorry to hear of your injury. Thanks for giving it your all on the track in Daegu. Cheering for your speedy recovery and for you to be back on the track competing again very soon!

  • Jacqueline Marshall21

    You are a beast on the track! You will be back better than before. I think when it first happened everyone was like,Not again.No one realized at first that you were injured. We will win it in2012 and you will be on the winning relay! Have a speedy recovery!!!

  • Lempfert26

    It wasn’t your fault. Your a great splinter and u really did show it on that 3rd leg. U made up some ground before the accidents.t happened. Keep your head up doc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/madhops245 Jamie Nieto

    I understand your pain and I know that there is nothing I can say to make you feel better. “Its not about how many times you fall, its how many times you get back up.” That’s how champions are made. No ones road to the top is easy and all those people hating this year, will be all the same people on your team when you get a medal next year at the Olympics in 2012. I’m a true fan, friend, and former teammate so you get nothing but love from me bro. Be blessed, get healthy, train hard, and I’ll see you at the top.

  • guest

    You don’t need to defend yourself. Everyone who matters is with you. You’ll be back strong. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  • http://www.wix.com/christopherdavis/personal Christopher Davis

    Doc I am an American sprinter too. Man, many can say they feel your pain but they do not because they are not you and it is all good. Also, many may say… “If I were you, I would have done somethings differently” exactly my point and that’s why they are not you. “You were the chosen one.” Jeremiah 29:11 Say for I know what I have for you I want you to enjoy your success. So I say that to say. “What God has for you is for you and not for anyone else and NO one can take that away from you” We need to support one another more, instead of trying to tear one another down…. especially our own country men. Also, Doc you have experience and you deserve the spot on the relay. You have earned it for all the time vested. Statistics show that a person is an expert after putting over 10,000 hours in a profession. I have just reach my 10,000th hour this past you and I am sure you have reach yours a long time ago. So you my friend deserve it! You need not worry about nothing. The incident was unpredictable, uncontrollable and not your fault. I know, I know, i know everyone may say whatever but many have not and never will run on this level…. So they will never understand. What happens today or in the past we must learn from and move forward because where we are today is just a stepping stone for tomorrow Doc. Lastly, 2011 World Champs is gone now but it is a stepping stone for the 2012 Olympics. Peace and love! Contact me anytime here doc: http://www.wix.com/christopherdavis/personal

  • Morten Torp/Norway

    Keep you head high! Never look back, always look forward! I wish you the best for London next year, and WIC if you go there. See your around. Cheers

  • Brendon Henry

    Hey, man just apologise and move on my friend. If you had run a perfect relay race you would have finished. There are many of us non Americans who were just as dissapointed that you guys did not finish the race,so it’s no crime to show your hurt and dissapointment. Don’t go spoiling it with arrogance. humility and acceptance of responsibility is a far more noble choice at this time.

  • bee bee

    Get your punk ass out there for all to see and or STFU!!!

  • Adrian Bazemore

    As a former football/track athlete, the only thing you can do is comeback stronger than ever! Keep the faith man, I know its tough but Gods people always prevail!

  • GEENAH1980

    LHHS FOR LIFE..KEEP YOUR HEAD UP DOC..NORTH DALLAS WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT U AND HAVE UR BACK..GOD BLESS!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/theashbri Larry Menendez Jr.

    This statement was not needed but, you being the true athlete you are……………………………………..COOL. Stay up bro!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/hatchet101 Jerry Ross

    my son is an athlete trying to qualify for the olympic trials in the marathon….YOU did not fail yourself or your country…you gave it the best you could and that is all that can be expected of anyone in any endeavor…god bless you and all of your teammates too

  • Ryan Harlan

    Doc, if it was anyone else we would not have been as far up the stagger as with you running, it was much more Great Britain’s fault than yours we all can see that from the video, heck I knew that when I was watching it live at the stadium. You did good, we all know we would have gotten at least silver had Great Britain’s runner not impeded your path, there is no way to anticipate something like this happening. You did good, keep your head high, you have many more supporters than critics 🙂 Great seeing you again in Daegu, I will see you in Eugene and hopefully London next season! Keep up the good work, but more importantly keep the faith brother.
    In Christ,
    Ryan

  • Blewis

    just get healthy and come back and do what u do i know u a great sprinter , athlete, and person i feel you i been there to

  • Dap4217

    Man to hell with the haters kinfolk. You know you got family love all day errday. Like you said they can kick rocks and move along. They can be super tough and say all they want but tell anyone of them to challenge you in that same race and see where they end up. Its always the one who can’t do talking. If they feel the need to get rowdy tell em to come see me. Dee. I’ll let what I do for a living fix the problem. Believe that and thats on the fam.

  • Osmondswanegan

    d u bad as hell bro. fuck em. keep god and family close. nigga u were in the lead on that 3rd leg. god bless. a fan in cali

  • Jordn mac

    Which lead?

  • Devenerw

    he was way off the lead you mean

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000330766221 Tony Gamblin

    I truly feel you and know that you will stand strong.Back in`84,I was trying to qualify for the U.s. Olympic Trials in the 100m at a meet at Mt Sac.Anyway,I got a great start,but at 60m I tore my left quad.I fell,tumbling,tearing all the letters off my jersey,as I skidded on my chest.But what really hurt was all the people,mom,fiance,etc that said I was thru.The next year, I burned a PR 20.5 anchor leg on the 4x 2.So bounce back,bro.

  • Matthew

    Nothing but class Doc! You are an incredible athlete and, even better, an incredible human being. I look forward to your future successes! God Bless you! Keep the Faith!

  • Mpage22

    doc you’re so real.. as a fellow u.s. sprinter i respect you so much. keep ya head up, i know you will.

    God Bless

  • bee bee

    That was not your fault man.That wild, inexperienced British dude interfered into you lane…end of story. Anyone who suggests that it was doesn’t know shit about relay racing.

    Good luck next year Mr. Patton.

  • Bobguild76

    Hang in there Doc! Character is not about what happens to you, but rather it is how you respond to what happens to you. You are so right … it is precisely at times like this that God’s grace & strength, and the friendship of the other sprinters, means so much. Keep at it & give it your best again next year. Hold your head high!!!

  • Alleyesonyou

    Bruh your one of my biggest inspirations to keep going to keep training. You been through so much and to still see you making teams is an inspiration to me. We met before and I remember you told me to keep on going no matter what. So Im just relaying the message back to you to keep going and dont stop no matter what because we all your looking at you whether some like you or hate you its all eyes on you bruh. thanks for being the champion role model you are.

  • Jason

    Nice post, Doc. That’s a healthy attitude. Good luck in your preparations for 2012.

  • Francis A Schiro

    I say you guys would have run with the Jamicans step for step. Do NOT give up…use your gift for REDEMPTION. The stage is set…make sure you qualify for London team 4 x 100. On the podium when you get your gold medal show respect and just SMILE….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HJRR5GXBYY4JBFU7XZUFWAHS2U Pierce's Wheelchair

    Doc, you’re a class guy. Stay strong, get healthy, come back and whip some @ss and don’t worry ’bout the haters, they always gonna hate…cause their own lives SUCK.

  • Fabi1066

    doc if you never fell would the usa have won the relay

  • Jordn mac

    Doc my prayers are with you for a speedy recovery and looking forward to seeing you in Jamaica for the Jamaica International Invitation next year (2012). Your humility has won you fans the world over and believe me you are loved in Jamaica and always welcomed. See you in 2012 Doc.

  • Pelpagenius

    The jamaicans were moving too fast, if u have small engines u will burn

  • Mario

    I like you blog Doc. I always admire your demeanor on and off the track, Continue to be just the humble person you are..

    ..From a Jamaican T&F fan

  • Tracy Sundlun

    Doc,
    You have always been class personified. I would have you not only be on, but lead my relay team anytime, any day, anywhere. God only gives you what you can handle … that’s why he gave this challenge to you… See you in London!!!! May your recovery be swift and painless.

    With best wishes and admiration,
    Tracy Sundlun

  • New Doc Fan

    Just read a Doc interview that turned me into a huge fan. Best to Doc and his 2012 pursuits. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/845865-after-the-fall-bleacher-report-q-a-with-doc-patton

  • Dr Orville Taylor

    Darvis, Sorry to hear about your injury. It pains me when that happens, whether it’s our own or our “rivals”. You are one of the gentlemen of the sport and show consistent respect for Jamaican athletics. Hope you recover normally and well. By the way, I wanted so much to see you finish and collect the silver or bronze.

    Realistically, I don’t think the USA has a team that can run 36.9, even with a fit Gay and Rodgers.

    God bless you and see you running in Jamaica in 2012.

  • Estherthomas3lj

    Wonderfullly said Doc.

  • Billings

    Me being a Jamaican, I must admit that Doc Patton is one of my favorite American runners and I feel real bad that this shit is happening to him. I really wanted the races to be between USA v JAMAICA fair & square!!!!

  • Billings

    I really do hope he gets a chance to redeem himself come 2012.

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