Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Football Minute (Read: Rant)

I watch The NFL on Fox every Sunday before the Carolina Panthers' games. Mostly because I absolutely adore Terry Bradshaw (SIDE BAR: which is weird since I've never been a Steelers fan. As a matter of fact, when Terry was their quarterback, I was a HUGE Cowboys fan [let me just say: Super Bowl,1976]- they only moved to second in my football faves after the Panthers came into the NFL in 1995 mostly because Charlotte is my hometown).

ANYWAY- this week, Jimmy Johnson (I'm not a fan) made this statement about the Panthers: "...with a new GM and, probably, a new coach, these guys are playing for their jobs."

Really? JUST now they are playing for their jobs? They should have been playing for their jobs the entire freaking season. The whole job threat should have been on the table from DAY 1.  

Do I know how to get out there and coach a football team? No.
Do I know how to come up with new, spectacular plays? No.
Do I know how to even read a playbook? No. Well, not all of it anyway.
Do I profess to know these things? No.

But, while reading plays, creating new plays, running drills, spending time in the weight room, running plays, etc. are vital parts of coaching and playing, motivating players is also of vital importance. And I do know something about that.

One of the first things I know about motivation on a football team is that the Panthers don't have any. The second thing I believe to be true about it is that it is part of the coach's job to instill motivation in his players.

Motivation keeps players on their toes and makes it easy to give their all. It keeps the momentum going full steam until the very last second of the game. It leads to thoughts of cohesion and camaraderie which lead to a united, winning team. It dispels thoughts of negativity and keeps players focused even in a losing situation- which makes it possible to turn it around.

I sometimes wonder if our coach is putting across an air of, "Oh, that's ok fellas. It's just a game." Whatever.

And no, it's not. 

I do NOT care how much they are making, players need to give 110%, 100% of the time. They should carry a winning attitude. They should be completely focused on the game every single second of the game. And, when they do not, they should be used as bench warmers. And the coach needs to make this known in no uncertain terms.

One of my favorite speeches regarding football is this one from Vince Lombardi (which I found HERE):

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while; you don't do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.
Unfortunately, so is losing.

"There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that's first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don't ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

"Every time a football player goes to play his trade he's got to play from the ground up - from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That's O.K. You've got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you've got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you're lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he's never going to come off the field second.

"Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization - an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win - to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is.

"It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there - to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules - but to win.

"And in truth, I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

"I don't say these things because I believe in the 'brute' nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man's finest hour - his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear - is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he's exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."  Vince Lombardi

Someone needs to get in that locker room/on that field/on the sideline and instill their foot up some of these players' a$$es. I'm almost certain Vince Lombardi could have done it. Even though some of our players (Cam Newton) believe themselves to be prima donnas. Ha. If our coach had youknowwhats, the prima donnas would be sitting on the bench. Or fired. Or changing their ways and playing good football.

Maybe it's too much about money now. Maybe the sport has changed too much.

All that being said, I have to wonder where the Panther team I saw today has been ALL SEASON LONG? I'd like to thank them for illustrating, beautifully, my statement about benching players or FIRING them to get them motivated. I mean, Jimmy did say the Panthers were playing for their jobs today.

Too bad they were not doing that all season. Which is my point- IF the coach (or, in our case, Jerry Richardson) had used something like LOSING THEIR JOBS as leverage for motivation purposes all along, we could have been contenders!

Oh, and one more thing. Matt Ryan- IN YOUR FACE you twerp! I guess I don't need to tell you what you can do with that trash talk of yours.  


  1. Yep, "if you don't like the job, there's the door"...that's what I used to say!...:)JP

  2. JP- Amen! I tell myself that when I complain about my own job. LOL

  3. I always enjoy a good rant, today this was very timely as I watched my team (Steelers) lose badly and play as if they had no life other than a few burst of it.

    As I read this I kept wondering if you wrote this after learning your team won, then I saw you did.

    We played San Diego today, the team and everyone else knows the coach has been fired as soon as the season ends, yet they played as if they had something to play for. The coach even pulled out trick plays with an almost entirely new offensive line which shocked me. I mentioned to my son that he probably feels freer to try things and take a chance because they can't fire him twice.

    I do think it's about the money. The players in the past had to hold down jobs on the off season just to afford to live, yet they wanted more than anything to be on that field come Sunday. It was a privilege for them to play. Now, it's all about their signing bonus' and sitting out on contract negotiations (when they still have a year left). Us normal people can't just decide not to come to work or fulfill a contract because we want an extension and more money, so why can they.

    Oops, I think I just returned a rant to you.

  4. Well guess what? I was a huge Cowboys fan in 1976!!! That is so funny. Yeah the job thing would get me too.
    So nice to know that about you. :) Your rants make me laugh.

  5. I wonder sometimes if those commenters just talk to talk and if they even know what they are saying. In saying that though, I do agree, every effort every week should be to play your best; isn't that what life is about no matter if it is football or in a classroom setting or work setting that we should always be trying our best?

    so did the Panthers win today?


  6. I don't get into sports but my family does and therefore it is on,all the time and those sports announcers drive me insane,they say the most stupid things.
    Oh,and my two cents about the NFL, they are adults, it is a business and really motivation? It is their job, they should give it their all, period, or be fired,like all of us at our jobs. They are no longer 'kids' playing at school. Seriously, grow up and act like adults.

  7. living- I don't understand why coaches don't play like that all season long. Why wait until you've gotten the ax and then pull out all the stops? Yeah, the money is a definite factor. I remember that the players used to have to hold down off season jobs. Maybe we should bring that back. Who knows. I don't mind your rant at all!

    Kim- Just one more thing that connects us! I love it!

    betty- The announcers are idiots. Plain and simple. My boys DID win yesterday!

    Lucy- Motivation is key for all of us. If I wasn't motivated to do my job well, I wouldn't. My motivation is love of teaching and learning. It certainly isn't the money. LOL Yeah, I started to put "It's football, boys. Grow a pair." :)

  8. Ya know, Pam, I've been meaning to have a little talk with you and encourage you to stop being so shy about expressing your opinion. (lol)

    I agree. Things have changed, people have become wimps and demanding. And that is across the board in all areas of our society.

  9. So- tell us what you really think. :)


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