A Winning Attitude

Some writers prefer grinding axes when it comes to Tom Brady. These writers all command considerably more per word than a freelancer like me. For some odd reason, they can also focus their features on elements that are, IMHO, totally irrelevant when it comes to TB12.

Writers like Chuck Klosterman don’t care to deal in honest representations of other people—especially NFL quarterbacks. Instead, they fill their pieces with throwaway lines, in discussing arguably, the greatest player to ever play the position. What is he talking about when he writes, “It’s [the quarterback position] the only position in sports that racists still worry about.”?

To be fair, Klosterman leads with the admission that he considers Brady as “the greatest quarterback in NFL history,” but then he immediately backpedals, makes a number of insinuations, and then generally tries to carry out the same kind of “hit” on Brady that much of the rest of NFL Nation fans has been carrying out most of the summer and can’t let go of—basically, that he’s a “cheater.”

WEEI regular Kirk Minihane and Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com were speculating last week that Klosterman was paid $7,500 to $10,000 for the GQ feature that was more about him than it was about breaking new ground on Brady. There are other Boston media types that took issue with the Klosterman piece, also.

But I don’t really give two shits about what Klosterman got paid by GQ or even that he didn’t get his agreed upon time with Brady. That’s never been where my interest lies when considering the 16-year veteran of the New England Patriots, and why I decided to jump back into following the Patriots and their all-world QB.

As I’ve detailed, I’m late to the party on Brady, Belichick, and the Patriots. That doesn’t mean I’ve been living in a remote cave outside Kandahar, either—what it means is that I haven’t followed all the minutia that fans of any sport know intuitively and often take for granted. Now that I’m paying attention, I’m awestruck by TB12 and what he’s been able to accomplish, year-after-year, and this year, he seems to have turned back the clock. We’re talking about a 38-year-old quarterback playing like a 25-year-old, physically, but with all the acquired wisdom that comes from thousands of snaps back of center during the heat of battle, not to mention his cerebral qualities.

Sunday night’s game against Denver was a grind for Brady. With his receiver corps depleted by injuries, his patchwork quilt of an offensive line requiring him to unload the football quickly, and TPTB of the NFL conspiring against him and his mates, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever strap them on nearly pulled off another late game miracle. I truly believe that if Gronkowski doesn’t leave the game with what appeared to be a serious knee injury, Brady would have been victorious. But, we’ll never know for sure.

Tom Brady goes downfield in the snow vs. Denver. (Justin Edmonds photo)

Tom Brady goes downfield in the snow vs. Denver. (Justin Edmonds photo)

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Success and the Stories We Tell

I want to change the world, one story at a time. That’s my story for today, and it’s been my story for awhile.

You might say, “that’s a little over the top, don’t you think?”

“Not really,” I reply.

I’ll be talking about stories and their power to transform when I deliver two breakout sessions this morning at the MACTE fall conference. My topic will be, “Success and the Stories We Tell.” Continue reading

Don’t Let the Posers Win

I believe that honesty, hard work, and being genuine will ultimately win out in just about everything we do that has any lasting value. That said, there will be times when no matter how hard you try, and regardless of the efficacy of your cause, someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart will string you along and then, squash you like a bug. What’s worse, these people have managed to dupe their little band of followers and sycophants that aren’t aware of their disingenuous qualities, or maybe they are, but for whatever reason, they continue telling the emperor that their clothes look great. Continue reading

Life is like publishing a book (Part II)

Coming up with an idea isn’t such a big deal. The real key is taking your idea, or even the germ of an idea, and getting it to the place where you can develop an actual product.

The process of researching, writing, and then publishing my own book was a major step forward for me. The early portion of my life was filled with lots of ideas. At one point, I had a book that had scraps of writing, lyrics for half-written songs, even various chord progressions to song snippets. I once even bought a four-track recorder to lay down song sketches with dual-tracked guitar parts. None of these ever ended up amounting to anything more than another series of unfinished projects. Continue reading

Free Agents, Roller Coasters, and Pushing Past Failure

Hop on the roller coaster--the ride is just fine!

Hop on the roller coaster–the ride is just fine!

There is a myth that successful people have some kind of special advantage. Perhaps they possess a special “success gene.” That last sentence might seem fatuous unless you regularly hear the litany of excuses that people make about why they regularly fail to deliver, or worse, say things like, “it’s easy for you.” So why do some people succeed, and some people, exceedingly? Continue reading

Remaining vigilant

The longer I remain on this path of personal growth, the more aware I am of all the snares and pitfalls that seek to sidetrack and detour me.

I’m convinced that we live in an extremely toxic and dysfunctional culture. Our food, our ethical lapses, the way we look to blame everyone for our what amounts to our own lack of personal responsibility–all of these things pull and tug at us, pushing us in a different and unhealthy direction. Continue reading

What I can do

One day last week, after wrapping up some end-of-the day work tasks, I sat down, put my feet up and flicked on MSNBC while waiting for Mary to come home. I’m comfortable saying that I lean leftward, so MSNBC is often a mainstream news choice. If you tilt rightward, you most likely prefer your talking heads, Fox-flavored.

Left or right, much of what now passes as “news” is nothing more than a bunch of people screaming back and forth, or engaging in some form of fear-fogging. During this particular dinner hour, the topic was gun control. On another day, or week, it could have been the fiscal cliff, why Republicans (or Democrats) are such idiots, or some other item from a list of meaningless topic fodder that runs like a tape loop on all the networks, lacking intellectual girth, and not much variation, depth, or nuance. Continue reading

Know your kryptonite

We spend so much time focused on and promoting success that sometimes we usually look past glaring deficiencies that are waiting to sabotage even the most robust success strategy. While there are as many schemes for success as there are stars in the sky on a cloudless night, papering over our liabilities will surely sidetrack our best-laid plans moving forward.

For this post, I’m going to diverge from the “three steps to success” model that’s all the rage—at least for today. Today, we’re going to focus on weakness. Continue reading

Happy thoughts

Happiness is very important to Americans. At the very least, appearing to be positive, happy, and avoid challenging accepted conventions of everyday existence is required to be liked and even popular.

I’ve learned a lot the past 10 years about not letting my thoughts and cynicism sidetrack me and I’ve decided that I’m not going to be tossed to and fro on a sea of negativity or despair. Continue reading

Setting goals–hitting the mark

Success requires hitting some goals (and missing a few).

I keep notebooks. They’re scattered across shelves and tucked in cubbyholes in my office. Sometimes I like to take stock by taking a look back.

Yesterday, I found this notebook I was using in 2008. The date indicates I’d just started working on Moxietown, and WorkReady was still a fledgling program.

Some of you know the rest of the story.