I recently watched a terrific show from the NFL network’s documentary series titled, A Football Life. The episode featured the life and NFL career of the late Ken “The Snake” Stabler. I remember vividly watching “Snake” tear apart the Seattle Seahawks and other teams during his fantastic 15-year career. What made Stabler stand out was his persona. Snake had charisma…he was known as a good old boy from Alabama that lived and played hard. He had swagger, bravado, and (most importantly) a cool factor. His former coach John Madden said of him after his death last summer – “In the big games, he was big. In the tough games, he was tough. In the hot games, when things got heated; he was the coolest guy on the field.” That’s why he was always known as a clutch player.
The very best in their crafts have the cool factor. They are able to stay calm in the midst of chaos and turmoil. When the conversations and emotions run hot, they are able to stay cool. Good decisions are made because the mind is able to slow down and be clear when everything else around them is seeming bedlam. They are clutch performers.
Kenny Stabler was able to keep his cool even under the intense pressure of big games and blitzing linebackers. How good are you at playing it cool when the heat gets turned up in your personal playing field? Do you succumb to the pressure around you or can you be as chill as “The Snake?”
What’s your cool factor? Are you a clutch performer? Make 2016 the year you resolve to consistently be both!
Quote of the Week: “In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can.”
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
I have to admit, this Super Bowl week has been exciting for me. I’m old enough to remember the Seahawks coming in as an expansion team in 1976. I was 11 years old and they became my favorite team for life. I was in New Jersey not far from where the Super Bowl will be played tomorrow. I was there on a business trip, so it was a little serendipity that I flew out when they were flying in.
I watch a lot of football “stuff” on a regular basis throughout the year. My wife Barb thinks I have a screw loose and way too much useless information floating around my head about sports in general (though I will note she is proudly wearing her Seahawks gear that she “borrowed” from me). I must admit staying focused has been a challenge this week. Since it’s only our second trip to the biggest game in 38 years, and our first in the last 8, this isn’t old hat. The fact that it’s being held in the grandest city in the world and the center of all entertainment, business, and culture; well that just adds to it. As I signed off from work last night, I knew this weekend was just going to ramp up. Barb and I have a party with friends tonight to celebrate the Chinese New Year and tomorrow off to her brother’s for the big game.
So what’s all this have to do with anything you may ask…
Look, we all have lives outside of our career. For many of us, we are our own bosses and can get pretty wrapped up in ourselves and our own issues. Even as an employee, it’s not uncommon to take a myopic view of your life and forget to have one.
As my professional mentor, Alan Weiss always says, “You don’t have a professional life and a personal life, you have a life.” One of the coolest things about sports is that it can band together people of all different types of lives into one common cause. For us here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s now our time to revel in the Seahawks. It’s okay to let yourself get distracted a little and enjoy something that doesn’t come around all too often. Here’s a quick example…
I was watching an interview with NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders on the NFL Network. He was talking about fellow Hall of Famer and former teammate Jerry Rice. Rice was a fierce and dedicated guy when it came to the game and his training. Sanders opined that Rice played as long as he did because he didn’t want it to end. He was so driven that he actually didn’t enjoy all the experience of his career while he was going through it and kept grasping at keeping it going. Sanders had taken a different approach and tried to soak it all in while being in the moment. Watching Sanders, that’s not hard to imagine.
Are you enjoying your life? Are you allowing yourself time away from your career and job to get distracted once in awhile? Do you ever pay a little extra to get a better seat, a nicer room, or eat at a fancier restaurant? We only come around this way once. Shouldn’t we give it all we’ve got?
The prediction: Yes, I may be a “homer,” but I really believe this. I believe defense still wins and the Baltimore Ravens proved that last year. Here is my prediction for the game on Sunday…
Seattle 24 – Denver 20
Russell Wilson will win the Most Valuable Player of the Game award and Kam Chancellor will have the game saving turnover in the closing minutes. I guess you can tell I haven’t thought much about this…