It ain't over...

According to legend it was Yogi Berra who famously uttered the phrase, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”

There’s another famous phrase — and I do not know who coined it — along similar lines: “It ain’t over til the fat lady sings.”

I’ve always wondered about that expression.

Just who is the fat lady and why does she sing? And how does that impact the end of a game? I mean if a runner misses home plate with the winning run does the fat lady singing nullify a video review?

Who gave the fat lady such authority? Seems like a recipe for disaster from where I’m sitting.

Yes, I’ve been going without sleep lately and strong coffee — the kind one must slap to keep in the cup — is my friend.

Why do you ask?

Anyway, this column isn’t about Yogi Berra or the fat lady, although someone should look into that nonsense before it gets completely out of hand.

No, this all about the Class of 2017, in particular the athletes I’ve covered at Anderson County and Clinton High Schools for the past four years.

Before I go any further, let me say without naming names (because I know I would inadvertently leave a name out), covering you guys has been a hoot. You have been a pleasure to watch and I’m excited about what the future holds for you.

In a few days, you’ll walk across the stage at Thompson Boling Arena and officially become a high school graduate. Four years ago that day looked so far away. Today, you realize what old men like me have understood for years: Your first day of high school now seems like only yesterday.

Those practices, as hot and demanding as they were, are over now. That red-faced screaming coach is no longer in your ear. You’re no longer a high school athlete.

I know some of you will move on to the next level and play a sport in college. I wish you nothing but the best in that endeavor. I hope you each have a great career and have fun. I hope you love the game/sport enough to stick with it.

For all of you going to college — if you’re playing a sport or not — you’re entering a different world, one where a good deal of your education will come from outside the classroom.

For those of you entering the workforce, you’ll learn a great deal as well.

I’m not telling any of you this to discourage you.

I’m telling you this to prepare you. Being an adult isn’t as much fun as you think.

My advice is work hard. Work harder than you have for anything else in your life. Use the lessons of perseverance you learned on a field or court.

Take it seriously. You have an opportunity. Take advantage of it, be it a classroom or a job.

But at the same time, enjoy it. Balance that effort by taking time to have a little fun and create some memories.

The friendships and memories you make in college (or in a job) will last a lifetime.

As you get older you’ll come to treasure those more than you can possibly understand. Those friendships and memories will help buffet you when the occasional storm takes place in your life. And they will take place.

I speak from experience.

So for those of you who think that school is over, well I hate to break it to you but school is just starting. You see, now you start learning about life and those classes, well, they never end — with or without the fat lady.

God bless you Class of 2017, may wisdom guide your path in life.