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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bud Grant, philosopher

I only met him once, but I still love the old man. He defines old school common sense and toughness:
The MMQB: If Marv Levy hadn’t lost four Super Bowls with the Bills, your team would’ve been the NFL benchmark for almost winning it all, over and over again. Do you feel more pride in having reached four Super Bowls, or ignominy for having lost them all?

Grant: We got paid. We won. We came back, and we won again and again. But you have to remember one thing: Football is entertainment; it’s not life or death. Once the game is over, you’re already talking about next year and the draft. It’s just entertainment. It’s like going to a play: When it’s over, you walk out the door and it’s over. There are no residuals to it. You’ve got to start all over again. If winning or losing is going to define your life, you’re on a rough road.
There you go. You cannot let winning or losing define your life, whether it is a paralyzing fear of failure or a psychotic need to win at everything. Do the best you can, train hard, and when you line up for the playing of the national anthem, you damned well stand up straight and in a straight line.

And after the game, whether you win or lose, you face your opponent and you shake his hand. If you can't even do that, then what good are you?

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38 Comments:

Blogger dh March 24, 2016 2:16 AM  

That is a really great statement of the mentality of winners (and losers) who leave it all on the field, whether it's a metaphor for life, relationships, sports or anything.

And you just don't see it like you used to. Competitiveness is almost entirely removed from most of our young people, systematically ground down to nothing more than a limp nub.

Blogger Scott C March 24, 2016 2:16 AM  

Where do you meet all of these famous people (Donald Trump, Dolph Lundgren, Bud Grant)?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 24, 2016 2:29 AM  

Scott C wrote:Where do you meet all of these famous people (Donald Trump, Dolph Lundgren, Bud Grant)?
One of the advantages of growing up rich.

Blogger John Wright March 24, 2016 2:46 AM  

Good sportsmanship is a microcosm of all other Christian virtue.

Blogger rho March 24, 2016 3:38 AM  

We got paid. We won. We came back, and we won again and again. But you have to remember one thing: Football is entertainment; it’s not life or death. Once the game is over, you’re already talking about next year and the draft. It’s just entertainment. It’s like going to a play: When it’s over, you walk out the door and it’s over. There are no residuals to it. You’ve got to start all over again. If winning or losing is going to define your life, you’re on a rough road.

There you go. You cannot let winning or losing define your life, whether it is a paralyzing fear of failure or a psychotic need to win at everything. Do the best you can, train hard, and when you line up for the playing of the national anthem, you damned well stand up straight and in a straight line.

And after the game, whether you win or lose, you face your opponent and you shake his hand. If you can't even do that, then what good are you?


These are not the same things. Who thinks that mercenary tactics are equal to fundamental beliefs?

Blogger Phillip George March 24, 2016 3:59 AM  

People would feel less uncomfortable if you compared sport with religion. Sport as entertainment - well that's just sick. These are gladiators, everyone of them, to the last man prepared to fight to the death defending their honourable right to die well defending their honourable right to die well.

"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that"

—Bill Shankly


We're all of us sick and tired of disingenuous politicians. Fraudster churchians. Hypocritical candle light vigil holders who are there for all the really cool chicks. Football is, as every red blooded American can testify, what raising the flag was on Iwo Jima. Except some prisoners were taken back then. Not this time. Let the games begin.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 5:15 AM  

Phillip George wrote:Football is, as every red blooded American can testify, what raising the flag was on Iwo Jima. Except some prisoners were taken back then. Not this time. Let the games begin.

I'd assume you were joking, except that I see no evidence of it.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 5:18 AM  

You cannot let winning or losing define your life, whether it is a paralyzing fear of failure or a psychotic need to win at everything.

Great post. Sportsmanlike conduct is all about perspective.

Blogger Ron March 24, 2016 5:32 AM  

I really needed to read that. Thank you

Blogger Breadbasket March 24, 2016 5:32 AM  

I liked it when Bud went out to the subzero coin toss with a short sleave shirt on. He is definitely old school.

Blogger Doom March 24, 2016 5:49 AM  

Slick, but I am not buying. I agree you can't win everything, but just letting losses go is like wasting any other resource. I really think of losses as a resource upon which to learn, build, and such. Winning allows a bit of laziness, but losing is where the work begins, to me. I suppose at some level, and for some stupid things like sports, perhaps he is right. If too, that means sports, and some other things, really aren't life. But that isn't a loser lesson for me, if I hope others are paying attention. Maybe computer gaming is the only real thing in my life that I might set into that category, since I don't watch television or sports. But then, games have never been taken seriously. They don't make money and can be redone... one way or another.

Blogger James Dixon March 24, 2016 5:50 AM  

> And after the game, whether you win or lose, you face your opponent and you shake his hand. If you can't even do that, then what good are you?

You'd have to ask Cam Newton that.

Blogger Lovekraft March 24, 2016 6:18 AM  

A wise and sensible approach to dealing with the ills of the world. Develop a solid moral and philosophical foundation that will assist you in seeing the big picture as well as the little miracles all around you.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2016 6:59 AM  

You learn more about man by how he handles himself in defeat, than in victory.

Blogger Ian Miguel Martin March 24, 2016 7:02 AM  

> And after the game, whether you win or lose, you face your opponent and you shake his hand. If you can't even do that, then what good are you?

"You'd have to ask Cam Newton that."

Or Woody Hayes

Blogger Nate March 24, 2016 7:17 AM  

and... as a point of fact... I've always thought Lombardi was a grade A son-of-a-bitch too.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler March 24, 2016 7:19 AM  

Amen.

Blogger Nate March 24, 2016 7:20 AM  

"I'd assume you were joking, except that I see no evidence of it."

American football exists because of war. Its not only a metaphor for war... it was designed to prepare men for war, and to simulate warlike conditions. It was so violent and deadly in the early days, so many players had literally died on the field, that Teddy Roosevelt made cleaning up football part of his platform for the presidency.

Blogger CM March 24, 2016 7:51 AM  

Sports have always been about war simulation... except maybe baseball.

Discus throwing certainly makes for an odd sport without that context.

Apparently children's play is traditionally about learning to hunt... Source

How does this translate to debating and discussing world view and faith? This is more than sports and stuff that common men are willing to die on.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 8:15 AM  

Nate wrote:"I'd assume you were joking, except that I see no evidence of it."

American football exists because of war. Its not only a metaphor for war... it was designed to prepare men for war, and to simulate warlike conditions.


Granted. Now, how does that translate into treating it like war, as opposed to training? (Keeping in mind, some attrition in training is expected.) The point of gladiators is, after all, not training for war but rather real war on a very small scale.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 8:16 AM  

The basic distinction being, on the one hand you build your military strength (sport/training), and on the other hand you spend it (gladiators, etc.).

Blogger Nate March 24, 2016 8:30 AM  

"Granted. Now, how does that translate into treating it like war, as opposed to training?"

You obviously don't understand how much people from ohio and alabama hate each other.

Anonymous RedJack March 24, 2016 8:38 AM  

Some fields do not reward losses. It is a career ending move. But overall, this is good advice. If you step up to the line and lose, it is still better than not even trying.

Blogger S1AL March 24, 2016 8:44 AM  

"You obviously don't understand how much people from ohio and alabama hate each other."

Well, I can tell you that nobody from the Old West States understands it at all.

Blogger The Sasquatch March 24, 2016 8:47 AM  

"You obviously don't understand how much people from ohio and alabama hate each other."

I'm from Ohio. The only people I hate are also from Ohio. Cleveland, mostly.

Anonymous BGKB March 24, 2016 8:53 AM  

Football is, as every red blooded American can testify, what raising the flag was on Iwo Jima. Except some prisoners were taken

Maybe before the game became a "which team collectively managed their performance enhancing drugs better"

"Granted. Now, how does that translate into treating it like war, as opposed to training?"

During training when 1/2 the Battalion Aid station found itself in front of the front lines & the referees asked if we knew where we were our SFC told them that our black LT got in my face for "questioning his orders" when I started to point out the problem with the location we headed to. We all enjoyed a nice nap. Battalion aid stations are supposed to be at least 2 terrain features behind the line.

Anonymous Takin' a Look March 24, 2016 9:06 AM  

@BGKB

"Maybe before the game became a "which team collectively managed their performance enhancing drugs better"

Or paid the right bribes. Also, what prevents Teams from suing the heck out of Refs for bad calls? A sense of fair play? Don't make me laugh.

Blogger dc.sunsets March 24, 2016 9:14 AM  

There are two forms of training for war, mental and physical. I suggest the former is utterly necessary while the latter is easy to take too far.

It was a disaster to me that dodgeball was taken out of schools. It was great mental conditioning that aggressiveness, teamwork, strategy and risk-taking were essential, and those who cowered always lost. Football simply separates guys into those who feel pain and avoid it and those who seem not to care.

OTOH, full contact H2H sparring is extremely dangerous. It is utterly stupid to "train like you fight" if after five or ten years of it your knees & ankles are destroyed and you have brain damage from the head blows. Training in a limited, stylized way may well condition one to pull punches and eschew joint locks that lead to ripping out ligaments and tendons.

You learn a lot watching MMA fights. One thing is that if you were relying on all the competitors for your infantry, half of them would be in the infirmary, unavailable for combat.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling March 24, 2016 9:30 AM  

@28 dc.sunsets:

It was a disaster to me that dodgeball was taken out of schools.

Some of us wore glasses we couldn't particularly afford to get replaced, not to mention an impact there can result in a nasty cut as I suspected then and confirmed in a later pavement face plant, so its putative attractions were utterly lost to me, although I suppose the prospect of one or more balls coming from anywhere in an 120 degree arc further enhanced my training in CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

And at least as done in my school district, there was no dodgeball teamwork ... which I suppose I should be thankful for, as I wouldn't have fared well, for some reason I only "got my balance" a year or two after starting college, was therefore terrible at those sorts of sports in K-12 and was the last to be picked for any team.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 9:30 AM  

Nate wrote:"Granted. Now, how does that translate into treating it like war, as opposed to training?"

You obviously don't understand how much people from ohio and alabama hate each other.


Hrm, there is truth in that. I should have paid better attention to whom I was addressing myself. Also, I was speaking prescriptively whereas you are speaking descriptively.

Anonymous Takin' a Look March 24, 2016 9:57 AM  

That ohio/bama hatred pales in comparison to buckeye/wolverine.

Blogger dc.sunsets March 24, 2016 10:19 AM  

@29, good points. "Bombardment" as we called it ended when a kid was blinded by (what I assume was) a point-blank face slam.

I suggest that with headgear including a face shield, kids with glasses would be safe, along with everyone else. Of course, this presupposes that anyone recognizes a benefit to inculcating boldness in males. Talk about an inversion of current norms.

FTR, I was a "cowerer" until 8th grade. As soon as I embraced my aggression, I was almost always among the last three standing and often won. It didn't hurt that I was the 2nd tallest, and might have been the biggest, kid in my class by 8th grade. It was the one "sport" in which I did particularly well. I sucked at football, basketball and baseball, and was okay at softball.

My niche was in choir. (shrug)

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 24, 2016 10:19 AM  

Takin' a Look wrote:That ohio/bama hatred pales in comparison to buckeye/wolverine.

We're talking about different things.

Blogger Tom K. March 24, 2016 2:06 PM  

Since growing into my 50s, I have found myself focused more and more on the Christian belief in eternal life. Life after death. Living forever.

It is in looking at life in a box of 70-90 years that one struggles to find meaning. The absurdity of life is not that it is, but that it ends, which I think is what Camus struggled so hard with.

Winning and losing are fun and entertaining and exciting in the training up to the event and during the playing of the game. But once it's over, the moving hand writes and having writ, moves on.

The question is always, "What's next?"

Personally, I can't wait to find out. But in the meantime, there is important work to do.

Blogger Tom K. March 24, 2016 2:07 PM  

Since growing into my 50s, I have found myself focused more and more on the Christian belief in eternal life. Life after death. Living forever.

It is in looking at life in a box of 70-90 years that one struggles to find meaning. The absurdity of life is not that it is, but that it ends, which I think is what Camus struggled so hard with.

Winning and losing are fun and entertaining and exciting in the training up to the event and during the playing of the game. But once it's over, the moving hand writes and having writ, moves on.

The question is always, "What's next?"

Personally, I can't wait to find out. But in the meantime, there is important work to do.

Blogger weka March 24, 2016 6:10 PM  

One of the troubles, Tom, with this world is that the crises are made also for entertainment and eyeballs. One learns over time to screen out the epherema -- from Oscars to Formula One to Superbowls -- and concentrate on the essentials.

And those relate to salvation, family, and the witness of our nation. IF we think seriously about those things, we will reform ourselves.

Have a blessed Easter, youse all. Orthodox have a blessed final lent and an Easter: and those who won't get until Friday for another 14 odd hours have a blessed Easter as well.

Anonymous BGKB March 24, 2016 6:56 PM  

This probably belongs here as much as the shitlord thread
If you're gay, is it a good thing to be a "shitlord"?

Not if its because you have a really shitty combine & Wonderlic scores forcing the NFL to bribe a team to draft you in the 7th round as the 249th pick of a 256-player draft.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/nfl/nfl-made-deal-with-rams-over-selecting-sam/ar-BBqQMlD?li=BBnbfcL

Blogger Akulkis March 25, 2016 3:09 AM  

@33

The Wolverine / Buckeye rivalry is in grounded in football. That's where it started. In all other sports, it really doesn't even exist.

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