Thursday, October 13, 2011

Realizing The Potential of Every Player

I’m a football fan. Some might say a rabid football fan. And I’m a native Pittsburgher. Given the combo of those two things and my penchant for enjoying the Black & Gold stomping on another team at Heinz Field, you may wonder why I use Notre Dame’s colors for my company.

My Steeler enthusiasm runs deep. I’ve been there from the Steel Curtain days to Polamalu’s wild hair days. I love you; you’re my professional team of choice. But there’s something about the collegiate power of the Fighting Irish that revs up my heart and gets me looking toward the fall like nothing else does.

When I attended my first Notre Dame game, it was because my son was in college there and pleaded, “Dad, you and Mom have to come up the night before for the pep rally. It will be worth it. I promise!”

“Pep rally?” Really? I thought my son had gone off the deep end with this request. Knowing him to be a truly stable person—he’s an engineer after all—we took his advice and went the day before to attend the pre-game festivities.

He wasn’t kidding.

This was no ordinary, rah rah event like I remember from my high school days. No way. The gym was packed, the rafters were thumping with band music and the key note speaker was WAYNE GRETSKY.

I was starting to get a big sense of the power that a focused group of people can have. How they can expend and expand energy to create something unique in the world around them. Prior to this, I thought it was all about the football players, the coaches, even the kind of turf the team was playing on. I thought us fans were icing on the cake.

This experience…seeing and being a part of the absolute engagement of the fans taught me that realizing a goal, winning a game, is about more than the super stars. It’s about realizing the potential of every player who touches the game with extraordinary effort on game day—from the fans, to the support staff, the marching band, the cheerleaders, and the players on the field. Put everyone together, energize them to meet a goal, defeat an opponent and Pow! You’ve just seen the power of people…realized.