not the years, its the
mileage, those who remain
will be champions
“Not the years, its the mileage”, so said Dr. Henry Walton Jones, Jr who is better known as Indiana Jones.
And it was Glenn Edward Schembechler, better known as Bo, as in Bo Schembechler, as in Coach Bo at the University of Michigan who said “Those who remain will be champions.”
Both epigrams where on my mind after watching the 2021 Super Bowl, or Super Bowl 55.
I admit I like Tom Brady.
I admit had Tom Brady NOT PLAYED at Michigan, I would not have liked Tom Brady.
I cannot account for it but for me and I think of lot of folks (despite what George C. Scott said in the movie Patton “Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser”), do not like winners or at least winners who win all the time.
Unless it is your team.
I understand that there are a lot of folks who just don’t like Tom Brady.
I am cool with that.
I never liked Roger Staubach or Michael Jordan.
But I also think no one can argue that what Mr. Brady has done as a football player, a limited field I admit, is without comparison.
Mr. Brady has played in more games than most players can imagine playing in.
Mr. Brady has won more games than most players play in.
Mr. Brady has played more games in the playoffs than most players play in the entire careers.
Mr. Brady has won more championships than you would think anyone could even want to win.
And I have to wonder what there is to Mr. Brady that makes this happen.
Believe it not, football is a mental sport.
I remember a night long long long ago when I had gone to local playground with my kids at a place called Briggs Park.
Along with a playground and a pool, Briggs Park also had a quarter mile running track and a football field complete with goalposts.
That night out on the field a semi-semi-semi pro football team was practicing.
They were the Grand Rapids Eagles or something like that.
Coached and quaterbacked by the ever popular Sparky McEwen, this was team of one time high school and college players who were playing for nothing more but a love of the game of football.
They were all out there on their own.
Drove themselves to the practice and to their games.
No locker rooms.
No team trainers or support of that kind.
It was organized football at it’s lowest possible level.
But those guys practiced hard.
I was amazed, stunned just watching a practice.
As practice wound down Sparky brought the team into a huddle.
On a hot summer night surrounded but a bunch of tired sweaty guys, Sparky launched in a Knute Rockne ‘win one for the gipper’ type of football speech.
It was all the tradition ciches.
WHO ARE WE?
WHO IS BETTER THAN WE ARE?
WHO ARE WE?
CAN WE WIN?
WILL WE WIN?
The response of the players was right out of the movies with loud mass barks.
The emotion of the response continued to build and build with each response.
These guys got motivated.
I got motivated.
It made me think.
It made me think, REALLY?
Then it made me think, WOW.
It made me think about motivation.
It made me think about how, even at this level, the players need this motivation.
It made me think about how, even at this level, the players WANTED this motivation.
They bought into it so to speak.
I remember a pre season interview with a Detroit Lions Quarterback who predicted 10 wins in the upcoming season.
I remember thinking what planet did this guy live on?
Then I thought about it?
Would I really want the quarterback of my team to be thinking, ‘gee whiz, we will be lucky to win a game or two this year.’
Of course not.
I wanted my Quarterback thinking we were going to win them all whether that made sense or not.
Another saying of Coach Schembechler was “what the mind can believe, the body can achieve.”
Maybe this is where Mr. Brady fits into the puzzle.
Maybe what makes Mr. Brady so valuable to a team, especially a football team, is the mental edge that with Mr. Brady on the team, the team is going to win.
A team that goes into an athletic contest already thinking they are going to win, not just motivated to think that way, but thinking that way before the game even starts is a team with an advantage.
Mr. Brady doesn’t win games without a team.
Mr. Brady’s records don’t win any games either.
But any team with Mr. Brady on it, a team full of players who HAVE looked at all those records and playing a team who has also looked at all those records has a real definite edge.
Mr. Brady is good.
Mr. Brady also makes the other players on his team better.
And as Coach Schembechler would say, those who remain, will be champions.