Nor Defeat – the background

John-HarbaughLet’s get into track no. 8 on the album There Is No En… a little bit, see what we can find, shall we?

It’s pretty much different than the rest, there’s hardly anything in it except for a bass-line, a cello-theme and some crackling – but there’s the speech, of course. What is it, and how did it get in here?

The speech is done by John Harbaugh, head coach of the NFL team Baltimore Ravens.

The citation is from president Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 speech, done at the Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Though it’s not 100% accurate to the original, we can let Harbaugh off the hook here. The recitation happened during a press conference in November 2011, after a game that justified its tone, and properly fit the contemporary media’s hunger for sensation. The Ravens won a game the day before that many though they would not have any chance, and Harbough had wanted to reflect on the previously asked questions and accusations by reporters, that the team had not been on the same page, and their unity and willingness to fight was questionable.

You can see the actual press conference excerpt in the video below.


And how did this get into the song? Well, that’s a question we’d like to leave open. Anyone can think into it whatever they please, that’s the only point – just think about it, see if it gets to you in any way. If it does, the point is already there.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.