When the weekly edition of Sports Illustrated arrives it isn’t the first priority read. ( I know what you’re thinking…except for the Swim Suit edition 🙂 but I’m not going there!) The magazine gets placed on the top of a pile awaiting a thirty minute time frame for me to look at the “Leading Off” pictures and then scan the “Lineup” for stories. I wouldn’t consider myself an avid fan of sports as much as I am interested in the stories of sports, this week being no exception. For instance:
I attend one Tiger’s game a year and do not watch regular season games. However, I am drawn to the story of the why the Pittsburg Pirates are a “futile franchise.”
Whether it’s Michael Phelps’s training routine (including the Ann Arbor restaurants he frequented), Brett Favre’s indecisiveness, the blown-call by an ump in Detroit which really stole a perfect game from pitcher Armando Galarraga, or Phil Mickelson’s triumphs on the golf course and support of his cancer-stricken wife, I am more of a reader of the stories than a watcher of the event.
It’s the stories which lure me. Personal stories: more than just winning and defeat, failure and success. It is the narrative of life. It’s about facing challenges – imposed by self-debilitating choices, other’s self-absorption, or simply part of life’s ebb-and-flow. It is about persevering in spite of all odds to do the right thing as much as it is about facing the consequences with integrity and grace. Stories elicit feelings of empathy, inspiration, encouragement, sadness, wonder, et cetera.
Given my life’s passion to help people Transform Their Life this probably isn’t surprising. It is rare for me not to find a lesson in each story on which I ponder and given my propensity to teach, often share with a willing or not-so-willing listener.
Since you’ve read this far in today’s blog you can make the choice to be today’s listener:
Don Coryell – the “Godfather” of today’s NFL passing game recently passed away. While a feature piece, surprisingly that isn’t THE story. Rather it is a short inset entitled “Good Things Were Going To Happen” (by Tim Layden). Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts recounted Coryell’s unique approach to the game and the players: “There was a feeling that you wanted to be there [practice], you wanted to be on the field, because good things were going to happen.”
What type of coach would create such an anticipatory and positive culture? Fouts recalls, “I don’t ever remember him going crazy mad at someone. I know he never had a cross word for me…He was just so positive.” There’s the lesson. He kept the players focused on the goal and lived with a positive attitude. We may not be in a position to affect the entire culture of the organizations with which we associate but there is a narrative we can write: our approach to life. Keep our eyes on the goal and be positive!
Let me know how you’re doing…