The National Football League has just completed its first full week of games. Some teams sit at the hopeful 1-0, while others are 0-1 and telling reporters that it’s a marathon not a sprint. As a Colts fan, I’m glad that week one does not decide who will be in the playoffs.
In professional basketball (NBA) the same thing is true except that teams play 82 games versus the NFL’s 16 game regular season. In 1978, the Washington Bullets faced a difficult task throughout the playoffs.
In the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Bullets and the San Antonio Spurs, the Bullets fell behind in the best-of-seven series 3-1. All San Antonio needed to do was win one more game and advance to the finals. The Bullets coach, Dick Motta, overheard a broadcaster talking about the series, which caused Motta to tell his team, “The opera ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”
Sure enough, the Bullets came back to win the series, advance to the NBA championship, and ultimately beat the Golden State Warriors to become NBA champions. Throughout, their mantra remained the same with many Bullet fans wearing t-shirts bearing that slogan.
Which brings me back to football and the Colts. In 1955, Pittsburgh Steeler coach Walt Kiesling called quarterback Johnny Unitas into his office to tell him that he was going to be cut from the roster because, “I’m sorry, but we can’t use you.”
Just three years after being cut by the Steelers and having to play semi-pro ball until he could get back in the NFL, Unitas was playing quarterback for the Baltimore Colts. In the 1958 NFL Championship Game, he passed for 322 yards to lead the Colts to a championship over the New York Giants. Later, he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Vince Lombardi gave good life advice about difficulties in life. “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”
I regularly see clients who have gotten knocked down by an event like a car crash. I also am challenged personally as I see them get back up, and while not letting difficulty stop them.
And for pic o’ day, this is dedicated to those who can’t put their phones down.