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On looking back at this series of letters, I have noticed a tendency toward Civil War era letters or war related letters in general. To step away from the somber subject of the battlefield, this week I present an uplifting letter about basketball. On April 5th in the year 1993 the NCAA championship game was being played by Michigan and North Carolina. Down by 2 with 11 seconds on the clock at the end of the game, Michigan’s Chris Webber called a timeout. There was a problem though, Michigan had no timeouts left. Webber’s mistake resulted in a technical foul that allowed North Carolina to clinch the game. Soon after, Webber received this letter from then President, Bill Clinton.
I have been thinking of you a lot since I sat glued to the TV during the championship game.
I know that there may be nothing I or anyone else can say to ease the pain and disappointment of what happened.
Still, for whatever it's worth, you, and your team, were terrific. And part of playing for high stakes under great pressure is the constant risk of mental error. I know. I have lost two political races and made countless mistakes over the last twenty years. What matters is the intensity, integrity, and courage you bring to the effort. That is certainly what you have done. You can always regret what occurred but don't let it get you down or take away the satisfaction of what you have accomplished.
You have a great future. Hang in there.