I played on a high school football team in California that destroyed another school (Pioneer) every year. In my senior season, once we were up big (with our backups in the game) we were forced by our school’s AD to punt on 1st down to make Pioneer feel less-defeated. When one of our players was on his way to the endzone and a pick-six, he was told to run out-of-bounds. I can assure you, no Pioneer player felt better about it. In fact, it moved beyond a crushing loss into the land of pure humiliation.
Sometimes teams get beaten badly (mine did too). That’s a part of sports. Let’s teach our kids how to keep their heads up in defeat, rather than shelter them so dramatically that they don’t know how to handle the bad losses we know life will one day send their way.
I’m watching @nflnetwork’s documentary on @nflfilms legend Steve Sabol. He was a brilliant storyteller and truly a great person. Here’s an awesome quote from him, scribbled on a piece of paper (shown in the documentary):
“You were born an original, so don’t die a copy.”
I’m reading Jack McCallum’s book, “Dream Team,” and in it, he (brilliantly) breaks down each member of the best team in basketball history.
There are fascinating chapters about Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the rest of the Dream Team squad that stormed the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. However, of all things, it was a quick tidbit about former Spurs center David Robinson that stopped me in my tracks.
Robinson created a K-through-6th grade school in San Antonio called Carver Academy, and has invested literally tens-of-millions of dollars into the educational facility. The school sits in what used to be a terrible part of San Antonio, but now is a successful path factory for hundreds of kids.
The thing that really caught me off guard was Robinson’s response when he was asked by the author why he, instead of “kicking back in retirement,” works like a mad man “keeping the school humming.”
"This is what my calling is. I mean, what’s your goal in life? Just to enjoy money? Is that fulfilling? If I do less than this, I’ve taken all those gifts I’ve been given and buried them under a rug. I want my own kids and the kids at Carver to understand about passion, that there is a calling in life and that you have to find it."
I’ve never heard it voiced/written like that; and I absolutely love it. I want to be a pursuer of passion. I want my kids to one day to chase their passion with reckless abandon. In fact, it’s difficult to come up with a time I’ve ever done that, and later regretted it.
Great work, Admiral.
"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily… Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time, that daily crossing becomes a habit. People do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future." - John Maxwell
"Michael (Jordan) got away with a lot of things. Let’s just put it this way. He was the icon of the game for the world. And remember, that means for the opposing coaches, officials, the opposing scorekeepers… I mean, officials are saying to me, ‘Ask Michael if I can have his shoes after the game.’ Are you kidding me? All that made a difference. Michael goes in the backcourt, mauls Joe Dumars, and steals the ball. What, Joe Dumars is going to get a call? Nobody wanted Joe Dumars’s shoes after the game."
- Scottie Pippen in the book, “Dream Team”
Just finished @walterisaacson’s biography of #SteveJobs. Very interesting read. The behind-the-scenes stories during the invention of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and in his time with Pixar are fascinating.
The book is long (571 pages), and Jobs was a very strange guy, but he was incredibly successful and is an inventor that Isaacson (rightfully) compares to Thomas Edison and the other greats in history.
I think it’s a worthy read.
"A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be." - Bruce Springsteen
"I’ve never made a statement like, "Thank God for my pessimism. I’ve been such a better person since I lost hope."" - Max Lucado
An 11-year old reminded me of a great lesson this week.
Anthony Ziharniak, a participant in Monday’s Dallas Cowboys youth football camp at Baylor University, broke four ribs during the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX. He spoke matter-of-factly about the event to me.
“I kicked the ball and it exploded.”
But that didn’t hold back Anthony’s personality. In fact, he was hilarious. He spoke with a directness that would be a perfect fit for the AT&T commercials with the kids sitting in a circle, ad-libbing about random topics.
And Anthony had dreams.
“I’m going to play in the NFL one day, probably for Tampa Bay or the Cowboys,” he told me.
It wasn’t if he was going to be a pro football player. It was about which team was going to be lucky enough to ink him to a contract.
I love that optimism and goal-centered belief. Will Anthony make it as an NFL player? Who knows. The numbers say no. The NFL Players Association says 215 of the 100,000 high school football seniors this year will play in the NFL.
But how many times do we squash ideas and dreams too early because of our fear of a less-than-perfect outcome?
Life’s short. Get after it like Anthony.
I’d like to think he’s going to be one of the 215 players that make it from the class of 2021.