There are some really HARD things out there in the world.
- Tungsten carbide is one of the hardest substances in existence, and is used in, among other things, machine tools such as milling cutters.
- One of the hardest languages to learn in the world is Chinese because of the writing system. Each word has its own symbol making it hard for reading and vocabulary.
- Diamonds are the hardest gemstone and the hardest substance known in nature. Nothing can scratch a diamond except another diamond.
- Lignum Vitae is the hardest wood on the Janka hardness testing scale; resistance to denting and wear. This wood was once very important for applications requiring a material with its extraordinary combination of strength, toughness and density.
- Godwin-Austen, the mountain better known as K2, is the hardest to climb in the world. 49 people have died ascending and descending the 28,251’ mammoth.
Sunday marks the 47th (or XLVII) Super Bowl in the history of the National Football League, the HARDEST championship to achieve in professional sports. This is no “Best of 7” series at the end of a marathon regular season of a 100+ meaningful and meaningless games. Rather professional football’s championship is a single, sixty minute “winner takes all” culmination of sixteen similar contests that gives twelve teams the opportunity at “sudden death”. This is the definition of HARD.
Today’s “Just Win Baby” mantra of doing business in the NFL has permeated throughout the 24/7 mass media and impatient fan base of professional football. Playoffs are no longer a measuring stick of progress, but rather a prerequisite set in the preseason. And it just keeps getting HARDER.
- Playing the Warner Brothers version of Monopoly, aka NFL CAP Management.
- Juggling coaching contracts and salaries that push the top end of Pro Bowl players.
- Offseason “guffaws” by anyone in the organization.
- Rolling the dice on 22 year old rookies (draft) and 32 year old veterans (free agency).
- Injuries, injuries, injuries.
- Dropped passes, missed field goals, fumbled snaps, and blown coverage.
- Locker room feelings hurt by media misquotes.
- Bad weather, bad scheduling, bad game plans.
- Blame, judgment, and criticism from just about every angle.
The dynamics that push and pull on the Focus, Unity, Direction and Excellence necessary for Success in the National Football League are incessant. They’re HARD to overcome. Shoot, even when things are going your way they’re HARD to overcome.
Ask the Buffalo Bills (’91-’94), Tennessee’s Kevin Dyson, or the 16-0 New England Patriots (’07). Signing Peyton Manning is no assurance that you won’t be looking for a refund on plane tickets and hotel accommodations in NOLA. Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, and Jacksonville have never even made the trip. Ten others have been, but never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Fourteen of the thirty-two NFL organizations have never won a single Super Bowl Championship in the forty-seven years of Super Bowl Championships. Why is that?
I’ve written a couple hundred posts over the past two years that play into the strength of Tungsten, complexity of Chinese, brilliance of diamonds, density of Lignum Vitae, the daunting K2, and the difficulties of WINNING in professional football. I’d encourage you to sift through the various categories of TheFootballEducator.com.
After the end of Super Bowl XLVII – there’ll be a winner and loser. One team engraved in silver and one team just a footnote in 2013. But whether the Ravens or the 49ers, this season’s Super Bowl Champion will have overcome one of the HARDEST challenges in professional sports.