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The Midweek Motivator – In Football and Radio Maturity Is the Capacity to Endure Uncertainty

Some stop when they begin to tire; high achievers go forward until on the verge of collapse. No matter the endeavor the strongest performers realize their mind tires before their body, pushing themselves further, beyond the boundaries. The fact remains: only when limits are shattered can the seemingly impossible be reached. You can’t discover a new ocean until you lose sight of land.

In Media, nothing is guaranteed. Inevitable disruptions will occur but triumphs often prevail. Consider a former NFL coaching icon’s pregame talk that still holds meaning. In his very first game as a Major College Football coach Marv Levy stared at his team before they took the field, then asked this question: “Is there anywhere else you’d rather be than right here, right now?” They say Levy repeated that challenge in every pregame huddle over his storied coaching career.

During a press conference Levy was asked about “the need to be a great coach in the locker room”. Clearly fatigued with similar questions, Marv rejoined, “Equipment Managers are great in the locker room; the measure of a coach is their greatness on the field!”

Levy was a history savant, often bringing absurd historic comparisons to his players. At the beginning of one Bills’ season the team was facing a wicked sequence of road games; Levy challenged his players: “Hey, you guys remember the German Army in the early stages of World War Two? They were knocking off everybody…but then they went to Russia and got clobbered. Do you guys know why? They lost, because they couldn’t win on the road!”

For all his sardonic quips, Levy had a remarkable way of connecting with his players: “I never thought that leadership meant grabbing guys by their shoulder pads or even ordering them to follow me!” Instead, Levy’s way was an outstanding leader’s method of getting his players to join him in the campaign which the Bills did, season after season.

Today, this week or next, if you’re having a tough day (even pondering your career in these unusual times) remember a legendary NFL coach’s words which may refresh your state of mind: “Is there any place you’d rather be than right here, right now?”

Ironically, NFL history reinforces the Buffalo Bills roster was populated by “good” players, few “great” ones, yet Marv Levy took four consecutive teams to the Super Bowl (an unprecedented accomplishment). Those teams were populated by “good” players who bought-in and just kept beating star-studded opponents.

So, enjoy your winning streaks and your record setting performances; dynastic times come rarely in sports or in competitive Radio. And when they pass, we’re never guaranteed they’ll come back around!