Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category
Great leadership is not being taught in the many classrooms across the world. In those places instructions by people who are only scratching the surface of understanding are bold attempts to lead a team to victory. Only a handful of people in the entire world understand—sadly, but lucky for me the Glazer family in Tampa Bay is one of them. The owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers understand that leadership is not so much in the obvious recognition of being a leader—it is in setting the table so that others can succeed as individuals. The Glazers were the first to have a pirate ship in their north end zone that fires cannons when the team scores. They are experiencing two of their first players going into the Hall Of Fame under their ownership in Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks with more on the way. They have produced many coaches for the NFL who have went to other teams and had great success, and they have produced several players and coaches who are now in the broadcast booth. The Glazers in Tampa are trend setters who benefit the NFL experience in ways that nobody in this current time will ever give them credit for—but years down the road in hindsight will be recognized as the most modern-day molders of the success in the NFL. It’s all about setting the table for unlocking individual success for the goals of a team—and the Glazers understand how to do that. When an idea of theirs does not work, they quickly get off it and try something new which is unique to them. Over the last 5 years the Bucs have made four coaching changes and recently after a 4 and 12 year they fired the entire coaching staff and front office for a complete rebuild with old Buccaneer coaches and players to launch a new decade of dominance. And to put a period at the end of their intentions, the Glazers have decided to remarket themselves with new uniforms that are quite spectacular and have the potential to unlock in their players, coaches and fans a new generation of Hall of Fame producing players that will take their organization where they want to go. It’s all about setting the table so that everyone else can enjoy the meal they’ve prepared. The Glazers are setting the table for the NFL’s next ten years with leadership that is uncommon in its scope and understanding.
I’m not keen on the high school and college process of vetting great players for the NFL. I don’t want to support public education just so that a school can produce the next Warren Sapp, or Gerald McCoy. It is up to talent scouts to find the kids to fill the game of football, not tax payers to fund the process from the front—even though that is how it’s done. But regardless of that, I do enjoy the game of football for a lot of reasons—most of them because of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For 17 years I have watched the old uniforms and emblems released by the Glazers revolutionize the NFL. If the Bucs have not been the greatest influence on the game of football, I can’t imagine who else has been. While most of the sports related press focuses on quarterbacks, running backs and the stats in the win column, the Bucs invented the Tampa Two defense, and the kind of marketing that has generated tremendous revenue for every team in the league. It is because of the Bucs that the Patriots fire their muskets when they score—in direct answer the Buccaneer cannons in Tampa. It is because of the Bucs that other teams sought more aggressive color schemes as it is well documented how the Bucs have a higher winning percentage when they wear their red jerseys. Since 1997 when there was a uniform change the Bucs had a swagger about them that seemed provoked by their new uniforms which carried them to several playoff appearances culminating into a Superbowl win. The uniforms were so hated by other teams that the Oakland Raiders actually filed a law suit against the Bucs in 2003 which was thrown out due to the fact that it was filed in a California court while intellectual property issues are handled by federal courts.
Everyone is looking for an advantage. Most NFL players are as good as all the other ones, and most of the coaches are just as good as everyone else. So to gain a tactical advantage, team owners are always looking for the right leadership traits to carry their teams to higher levels of revenue streams. The best way to do that is to win and after a series of failed attempts to find the right coaching staff to carry the Buccaneers to a return to constant playoff appearances—the Glazers elected to spend the money on a complete makeover from top to bottom—even down to the uniforms. There is nothing better to unite the minds of the young players on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team than being the first to have such an audacious helmet with the proud flag displayed boldly on the side, or having a chrome grill on their helmets. The Bucs a few years ago were the first to use iPads for their playbook, and now have a reputation of always looking for the latest and greatest in technical innovation to give their players an advantage over their opponents who are often just as good if not better.
People who have worked with me in the past are often frustrated that I do not care much for traditional management priorities. Rather I spend most of my effort on team building and setting the table for other people to have success. My success is when I remove the opposition for others to have success so that I can utilize a strategy of my choosing using the mass of a team to overwhelm the barriers of the task I want to achieve. That is easier said than done and won’t cause me any lost opportunities to reveal here. Often doing such things is like dragging a herd of donkeys up Mt. Everest one by one. The trick isn’t so much as seeing how it’s done, but knowing what to do and when. I do a lot of speeches, hand punching and deep psychological analysis to discover how to uncover hidden human potential—because it is there that an advantage always resides. Most people are skilled, and in the NFL everyone is fast, everyone is strong, everyone is smart—so to gain an advantage other elements have to come into play.
The Glazers understand this very well. When you land at Tampa International Airport, the Buccaneer flag that flies over One Buc Place—the training facility for the football team, is unmistakably huge. You can see it clearly from the airport. There is nothing like it anywhere in the country. When players come to Tampa to play for the Bucs they have to look up at that giant flag which essentially greets everyone who visits the Tampa area by air. The players have to live up to that high level of commitment provided by the Glazers represented by that giant flag.
I have spent many Sunday afternoons watching Tampa Bay Buccaneer football games and have seen a lot of excitement over the years—even when they lose. There is almost always a swagger about the Bucs which makes their football games more exciting. But that swagger does not come so much from the players, but from the Glazers who set the table for that swagger to find a home. The swagger comes from untouched human potential locked away from the world through various social restrictions. The Glazers ignore those restrictions so to unlock that potential for their use—and they are far more right than wrong. I fire cannons off my front porch when the Bucs score because the Glazers started the trend. I have enjoyed my game experiences in Tampa so much that I seek to duplicate Raymond James Stadium at my house on Sundays. I hang my flags everywhere—a few of which were actually given to me by the Glazer family, and I blast smoke machines all over the house and create quite a festive environment. I have yelled so loud at the television during some of these games that I have shattered glass. Nobody sleeps in my house during a Buccaneer football game, because they are exciting, and that excitement was created by the Glazers—not so much the players themselves. The player potential was always there, but the Glazers unlocked it for the entertainment of the fans.
Now with the new uniforms, this will only increase and I am excited about it. On the night of the announcement seen on the first video above with Warren Sapp revealing the new logo my wife was begging me for an evening in the hot tub—which would normally be a coveted activity. But I told her that I had to see the Buccaneers new logo first. Once I saw it we could get in. She came to me in a state of seductive undress, but the NFL Network indicated that it would be the last story of their broadcast, so I held up my finger to wait another 15 minutes. She then pleaded with me to turn it on at the hot tub, but I was glued to the screen. I wanted to see the new logo on the biggest screen possible. Finally, after waiting all day—and watching the NFL Network for 50 minutes, Warren Sapp revealed the new helmet and the next decade of my life flashed before me. The old uniform entertained my children as they watched my excitement during Buccaneer football games hoping the Bucs would score so I would yell at the television and fire off the cannons from our porch filling the house with smoke. Most of the time the smoke is so thick that nobody can even see the television. Now the new uniforms will usher my grandchildren into the same kind of behavior because the new logo is exciting and will lead to many more exciting games giving me something to cheer for—if only because it’s so cool.
I love the new uniforms and the Buccaneers as an organization who understand that leadership is not in the observable feats, but the hidden ones. Sometimes it really is as simple as a uniform change—and in this case—it’s a change that will have a dramatic impact on a team who really needed it. The table for success has been set, and now it’s time to eat. But the cuisine is not chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob—it’s the competition. And they are ripe for mass consumption.
Keep in mind before I say what will surely infuriate many that I spent much of my previous Friday evening listening to the pre-season football game between my favorite NFL team The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miami Dolphins. I enjoy the combat of a football game. I understand the drama of sporting events. I have known, and currently know many people who memorize sports stats and pour a lot of personal time and energy into sports as their premier entertainment. I know many people who spend their Friday nights going to football games for their local high school in the fall; have block parties in their cul-de-sacs on Saturdays when Ohio State plays Michigan, then tail gate on Sunday down at Paul Brown Stadium for The Cincinnati Bengals. These same people will rattle off statistics of sport players with great conviction, but couldn’t begin to tell you who Rob Portman is–the State of Ohio Senator who has been a potential candidate for Vice-President of The United States. They drink a lot, and take great pride in losing their senses to drunkenness, and in spite of those human faults, I still enjoy the fanfare of sports.
In Texas, as displayed to the outside world quite wonderfully in the film Friday Night Lights, high school football is the centerpiece of small town entertainment, and it does bond the community together in ways that defy logic. I could write books on why this is destructive in that it shows a tendency toward collectivism that is ultimately disparaging, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that small town politics in the state of Texas loves their Friday night football. It’s an obsession really, so much so that tax payers in Allen, Texas passed a bond package with 63.66 percent of the vote from the booming suburb of north Dallas worth $119.4 million dollars, $60 million of which was designated to building a state-of-the-art stadium for their high school football team.
For the kids who play football in Allen they will play under the Friday Night Lights for their community in a stadium that rivals what many of the stadiums for professional teams play in. 8,252 people signed up for season tickets ranging in price from $40 dollars a game to $8 and they plan to sell out several of their games in the 18,000 seat arena in a town that has a population of 84,236, which is smaller than the Lakota School District in Cincinnati. The demand for football in Allen is so intense that 1 out of every 4 people plan to attend football games at the new stadium.
The residents of Allen have a median household income of $100,843, which is about $10,000 more than the wealthy area of Lakota due in large part to all the businesses that are locating to the area because of Texas pro-business attitudes. Many of the jobs that aren’t in your town because of intense regulation and high taxes are probably in Texas or thinking about it currently. And when people have plenty of money in their pocket they tend to be generous by passing tax increases on themselves without a thought of future sustainability. The people of Allen have the money and they wish to spend it on a football stadium for their local high school, and that’s that. This has led to severe criticism from people outside of Allen who don’t understand why the people of that Texas town will spend so much money on a football stadium when the state of education is so poor in America. Well, the answer is rather harsh, but must be understood in order to be truthful about the real nature of support a community has for their local schools when discussions of tax increases arise. People like to watch violence and mayhem. They love to see gladiators on the battlefield punishing other players in a quest to score a point. Those same audiences do not show up to watch some kid take a math test.
All public schools and all large college campuses use their sports programs to drive their funding models for their education institutions. “Jocks” are treated as special in schools because the school acknowledges the gladiators as the life blood of their existence. Without the Friday Night Lights, without football, schools are boring places of history, art, math and science. Only a few kids in each grade class excel in those categories and go on to become esteemed world-wide scientists or mathematicians. Most parents would rather give birth to the next Payton Manning rather than Albert Einstein and it shows in schools by what parents support. In Allen, Taxes they are just being honest about their priorities. They are not functioning from illusion. When it comes down to it, people do not care about educating a bunch of inner city kids on how to bake a cake in home economics. They don’t care if a 1000 nerds score a perfect 2400 on their SAT scores. But they do care if a kid is 6-4 and weighs 280 pounds in his junior year and can play as a guard on the offensive line protecting the team quarterback. In essence, they care about their own entertainment on a Friday Night, because once the game is over, they are back to their own lives looking forward to the next game.
On a typical Saturday during football season most men will sift through the political section of a newspaper and read intently the sports stats from the game on Friday. On Monday morning he will be able to go into his workplace and impress his co-workers with his vast knowledge about the tackles that 6’, 4” 280 pound kid had in Friday’s football game. He might even claim to know the boy’s father hoping that such a revelation will impress his co-workers with is access to celebrity. But nobody sits around the water cooler talking about how a kid from their public school won a spelling competition, or won an academic scholarship to Yale due to academic excellence in high school physics.
Schools are very aware of this leverage they have over the community. Locally, around the Cincinnati area the closest thing we have to the Texas Friday Night Lights experience is Colerain Football. Already, the band leaders in that town are letting it be known that if residents don’t pass a school levy this November that there will be cuts to the football program, and the band that plays for them. They know as school officials that the community cares about sports, but not about the positions of assistant art teachers, so the threat is directed and quite intentional. At Lakota in my home district, after three failed levies, the district cut off its nose to spite its face threatening to hurt the parents of the district by charging players $550 per sport for each player in order to force levy passage which has ended up backfiring. Lakota isn’t Allen, Texas; people are more indifferent to their Friday Night Football. If it’s there, fine, if not, they’ll go to a movie and out to dinner instead. The only parents who really feel passionate about football like they do in Texas are the parents who are hoping their kid wins a scholarship to college which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition. Lakota took bad advice from the classes the school board attended at Levy University in Columbus, Ohio that the OSBA puts on every year. In that class they learned that to pass tax increases that public transportation and sports are what motivate voters to throw more money at a public school. If those things don’t work, then nothing will. At Lakota, to make up for picking the wrong strategy in winning the hearts of the community, they have had to spend $160,000 on public relations to attempt to win back community support, which they won’t get as long as 1500 kids are being charged $550 to play sports.
Penn State covered up the sex crimes they all knew about because they understood that it was Penn State Football that drove new enrollment, and therefore revenue to their university. It is sports that drive education, not academics. In Allen, Texas at least they aren’t trying to deceive themselves in being so high-brow to not wish for the blood lust of violent impacts under the Friday Night Lights of their new $60 million dollar stadium. Nobody really cares about “education.” This is well-known, it’s just not publicly acknowledged. The people of Allen are not going to pour $60 million dollars into a program to help the poor and needy. They are not going to give it to a bunch of fools who want to build solar panels and wind mills. They are not going to give it to a bunch of socialist teachers who want to save the world with world peace. In polite conversation the tax payers will utter support for such things, but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, they spend it on blood, broken bones, and drama on a fourth and goal. Everything else is a waste of time and that is the key to the education funding structure. Without the Friday Night Lights, public education is just another stale experience that could easily be replaced with online classes.
“With Tale of the Dragon, Rich Hoffman combines NASCAR, Rebel Without a Cause, and Smokey and the Bandit. If you like fast cars, and hate speed traps, this is the book for you. And just every once in a while, any real American wishes he had a Firebird like the one in Tale of the Dragon.“
I spent a great deal of time outside this past Sunday working on the yard. During this endeavor I listened to the radio as I often do when working in and around the garage and I noticed that from noon till 6:15 PM that same day, I heard nothing but news coverage for the Reds baseball team. First it was the pre-game report that discussed various pitching match-ups and hitter percentages. Then there was the actual game against the Yankees, of which the Reds won. Then for two hours after the game there was post-game talk. I enjoyed the game but I wondered about the type of men and women listening that cared about all the statistics of those individual players who are technically only kids playing baseball on a Sunday afternoon. The amount of attention given to baseball was bewildering to me especially with the kind of things going on in the world. As this Reds broadcast filled the airwaves with entertainment my friend Matt Clark was doing his own radio show trying his best to bring some alarming statistics to the minds of his listeners.
Matt’s broadcasts shown here warning Americans of the collective salvation that Obama and his minions of looters are attempting to inject upon the American people are a whole lot more sinister than a baseball game. The same mind that listens to the sports statistics of specific players should be able to analyze the tremendous amount of evidence that there is that President Obama is at the front of a collectivist movement to eradicate all Americans with wealth redistribution. What’s great about Matt’s broadcasts is his frequent use of actual clips depicting the dialogue these collective looters are implementing.
The work of the Obama gang is a clear case of what Ayn Rand would call the “second handlers.” These are people who initiate no work or productivity on their own, but instead are completely dependent upon others to initiate action. This means that the “second handler” must take from a “first handler” in order to do anything. Obama’s basic economic plan as well as those of his friends are to make the entire world into a society of “second handlers,” so that each person is connected to another and this will foster peace as it’s termed by the hippie movement—because everyone is assured of their own destruction if they attempt to harm someone they are dependent on. A society of kiss-assess is the Obama vision.
However, this view of the world is entirely created for the benefit of the “second handler.” The second handler does not understand that it takes a first handler to create the things that the second handler attempts to redistribute to others. Without the first handler taking action, the second handler has nothing to do. A society of second handlers is worthless as an economic power, because second handlers not capable to produce anything. They can do work, but they cannot initiate the work.
I thought of second handlers a lot as I listened to the radio broadcast of the Reds game. It was obvious to me that the people who chose to pay attention to all these sports statistics instead of the statistics of their government are committing a crime rooted in neglect. By their political indifference, they are feeding the life of the second handlers by working, paying taxes, and blindly voting for the policies of looters like Obama without equal analysis as they commit to the pitching staff of the Reds baseball team. If they did, there would be no quarrel by me. Sports can be fun, and I personally enjoy them. But they cannot replace the logical management of our republic on the matters that truly count, which is what’s happening.
Matt Clark in the three videos shown here breaks it down clearly for all to understand. He has made it easy for the average person to see what is happening by the second handlers of our government. But let me make it even easier than he has. Let me put what he has said into baseball terminology, since that is apparently all anyone cares to pay attention to—Obama and his government of collectivists are not leaders. They are our governmental representatives, but they are not happy with that role and are attempting to pronounce themselves princes, princesses, kings, queens and emperors. They are attempting to do what every dictator, monarch and tyrant has done in the short history of the human race, and that is rule as a second handler—a person who requires others to live and will use their collection of pawns to prop themselves into power. And they are using the distraction of sports and popular culture to mask their sinister intentions of wealth redistribution and world-wide socialism.
On sports teams like the Reds, Joey Votto is a first handler. The team will live or die by his performance. On the other hand the manager Dusty Baker is a second handler. His only task is to reflect the philosophy of team ownership onto the field of play. Neither the ownership or the manager, or the token support players mean much without a Joey Votto—which is why Joey gets paid so well—because Votto is a first handler. The manager and most other members of the team could be replaced or changed without changing the nature of the team. But Joey Votto could not be replaced or changed without destroying the product seen on the field. This is the nature of all things.
The same with Obama and government in general, the government looter is like the management of Dusty Baker. They are well-intentioned and wish to believe they are in charge, but because they are second handlers they are completely at the mercy of the first handlers. In our nation the first handlers are big companies who produce huge amounts of tax revenue—such as “big oil,” “bankers,” and in general most of the organizations that Obama constantly ridicules. He ridicules these economic factions as a second handler attempting to take from someone else so that he can give to those who do not have—wealth redistribution. But at the same time he expects the first handler to continue working, innovating, and creating even though they get to keep less of their created wealth so that others can loot off their labor. This is the folly of our collectivist nation led by these looters of government.
Yet it is not the first handler who is wrong, even though they are made to feel that way, it is the second handler. We feel the same way about those people as we do with Rex Ryan who coaches the New York Jets. In that case, like Obama, Ryan is a second handler who wants to pretend he is a first handler and at an innate psychological level, we understand that he’s not. That’s why Ryan is the subject of public scrutiny because he does not understand that the team is not about him. With the Jets, the first handler there is the cornerback Revis. The team of the New York Jets lives or dies by the performance of Darrelle Revis, not Rex Ryan or Mark Sanchez.
The danger is when Americans allow the second handlers of our society to believe they have all the power, and we allow them to do this because our minds are on sports statistics instead of the very serious matters of the day such as politics. As Matt Clark pointed out in great detail with the broadcasts above, there has been a lot of manipulation going on behind our backs by a president who is attempting to rule as a second handler, and this is very dangerous. But the way to beat him is not with anger, or protests, but by taking away what he attempts to redistribute to others. If Americans took away the ability of the second handler to “handle” anything it would reduce those people to the task of becoming worthless, which is the biggest fear the second handler has in life. And this is what needs to happen to every looter who has their hands into your life robbing you in broad daylight while the sports statistics of children occupy your mind with clutter.
I know many people who take the sports statistics further than even professional sports and even pay attention to college stats and high school athletes. My advice to you is to give it up. Don’t try to live your lives through these children and surrender your country to the second handlers of Obama and his minions of looters. Pay attention to their actions the way you do with sports stats and many of the problems in our world would be solved, because you’d be able to see and hear what Matt is trying to point out, that we are under attack by the second handlers of society who are trying to obtain collective salvation on all of our backs, which is simply reprehensible, and diabolical for the long-term sustainability of our nation. If it continues, you will find that once we get to the ninth inning and are losing by 5 runs in America and are down two runs with two outs we’ll wonder how it happened. And the answer is that we could have fixed it, and won the game much earlier, but didn’t because we weren’t paying attention placing our value on all the wrong aspects of our lives.
This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon
When I first heard that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had signed DT Eric LeGrand to the 90 man roster my first thought was that it was in bad taste to appeal to the world and sell tickets to my favorite team for the upcoming season by exploiting a young man’s depilating injury. LeGrand was severely injured during a special teams tackle while playing at Rutgers and broke his neck paralyzing him at age 20 from the neck down. Doctors gave LeGrand a 0 to 5% chance to ever regain any feeling in the neurological systems of his body.
But Eric is a tough kid and shortly after his injury, he insisted to be taken off his breathing machine. Then he gained feeling in his hands. LeGrand worked every day to move a part of his body and now he can actually stand for periods of time, which is an absolutely tremendous achievement. Coach Schiano who was his coach at Rutgers when LeGrand went down with the injury has been helping the young man stay focused, along with the fantastic support of a mother who refuses to quit, and it is becoming clear what forces have helped give Eric LeGrand the inner strength to beat these impossible odds to recovery.
Coach Schiano is now the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that is loaded with talent, but lost their way last season with a lack of focus and leadership. My love of the Buccaneers stems from the ownership of the Glazer family, and how innovative they have been in their approach to the game of football, and the NFL in general. When they hired Schiano after many interviews with many coaches, some who had taken their teams to last year’s playoff games, it was evident they saw something special in Schiano that would resurrect a level of greatness that the fans of Tampa Bay had come to expect.
Schiano has not disappointed so far, he has made some fantastic acquisitions in the free agency market, and this year’s draft is considered to be one of the best in Buccaneer history. The team has managed to create some cap room to work with, and they have used it to get some really good players to fill the voids exposed during the last season. That is why it seemed like a publicity stunt to see that Schiano had put LeGrand on the Buccaneer 90 man roster. After all, there is no way that LeGrand will play DT for Tampa Bay in 2012 if ever. Even if he could gain the ability to walk again, there is simply no way that he could outperform the hoards of other athletes all competing for the same job who have not suffered a debilitating injury. That is the conventional wisdom of the stats and science in placing an NFL player on the field to win football games. But conventional wisdom does not produce exceptions, and in any competitive endeavor, it is the exceptional that tip the balance of power in favor of a victor.
Great players are a dime a dozen, and coaches, teams and fans are always on the look-out for those special individuals who display leadership in the face of adversity and overcome odds that are insurmountable, and LeGrand certainly exhibits these traits without even stepping onto a football field.
My personal feelings about injuries and the kind of things doctors tell us are well noted here. I believe cancer could be cured tomorrow but the pharmaceutical companies and FDA are more concerned about preserving the status quo for their retirement accounts than actually solving a problem that will change medicine. When it comes to spinal cord injuries and nerve damage, doctors often project doomsday scenarios tapping their patients into the local pharmacy promoting bags of drugs to return the sick to some semblance of a normal life.
I don’t trust much of what doctors tell me, because I find the limits of their medical understanding confining and their belief in the potential of the human body to be deficient. My own doctors and rehab specialists tried to guide me in returning my knee to full function after extensive ACL surgery. I had torn my ACL in a basketball game, and then further damaged my knee by tearing the MCL while jumping through a wall of fire performing a whip stunt. The grass was wet to protect it from being burnt, so when I landed my foot slipped out from under me because there was no ACL to support my leg, and my femur actually drove into the ground leaving a small crater. My knee-joint slipped so far out of socket the bone had no knee in the way to protect it.
Doctors gave me weeks of rehab as the prognosis once they repaired my ACL, but I worked hard to recover as quickly as possible. I had my surgery done on a Thursday; I was walking and back to work on the following Monday. I could have milked time off work for weeks if I wanted to, but that is not how I think. I wanted to recover, and get back on my feet quickly—and I did. I went to rehab every couple of days, and I felt they were wasting my time, like my appointments were simply to provide work for the rehab employees and had very little to do with my actual recovery. I stunned the staff recovering 6X’s faster than the average, according to them. When my insurance company saw my progress with the rehab clinic, they cut the payments to my rehab. And on that day, it was my last session. I wasn’t about to pay for something out of my own pocket that I could do better on my own.
As I was leaving my therapists warned me that I might lose my advanced progress if I did not come to them anymore, in fact, my leg might not be as strong. They were aghast that I refused to take any medication during this time and made it sound as though my leg would fall off if I quit therapy. Within weeks of walking out on my therapists because my insurance company would no longer cover the costs, I was running on my leg again, and jumping through walls of fire—doing what I love doing.
My wife had ruptured a disk in her lower back carrying my youngest daughter the rest of the way up a mountain hike and didn’t realize it until we got home because she had difficulty walking. We went to see a back surgeon and discovered that she was about to become paralyzed from the waist down due to the disk slippage, so she went through emergency surgery.
After the surgery she had lost a lot of feeling in her toes and parts of her leg and was told that those nerves in her leg had been severally damaged, and she may never be able to walk correctly. Well, to my wife, this simply wasn’t an option. She had kids to raise and things to do. We rubbed her legs and feet for hours stimulating the damaged nerves and gradually she regained most of her feeling, and within a month, was able to walk normally. Again, if we had listened to the doctors, she would probably still have problems walking and her body would most likely be addicted to some pharmaceutical product to this very day even though that was well over decade ago.
The injury to LeGrand is much more severe than either one of the injuries described above, but what he has that is in common is a will to recover, to conquer his debilitation and take charge of his own body and its functions, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. For that, Coach Schiano is wise to understand that by placing LeGrand on the very young Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team that the presence of LeGrand will inspire the other players to greatness, to be at the top of their physical prowess, because compared to LeGrand, what does anyone have to complain about. If LeGrand can work out with the Buccaneers players and they see what it looks like to recover from paralysis what does a healthy player have as an excuse to not strengthen a ham string injury, or a sprained ankle?
For the inspiration of having such a positive presence on the practice field, LeGrand is worth the roster spot, and will certainly earn the privilege of playing in the NFL, even if it’s just on the sidelines. Because like most games, the battles are not won just on the field of play, they are won in the mind of the participants before the contest even begins.
I believe that with the positive attitude that Eric LeGrand has, with the support of his very positive mother and mentoring of Coach Schiano, that Eric may very well take his first steps on the practice field at One Buc Place sometime during the upcoming football season. Once Eric is on the field around other athletes, that desire to compete will drive the cells of his body to his cause, and he will walk while in a Buccaneer uniform, and the world will shudder at the miracle. LeGrand will become a shock to the medical industry of the world as new hope will be given to all victims of paralysis. The medicine of positive thinking will begin to get serious reappraisal.
Further, I believe that by the 2013 season, Eric will be running again and will be able to practice on the field simulating plays with the practice squad. And because he will have recovered and worked so hard to come back to that point, he will be a superior athlete, far surpassing what most in his position have otherwise achieved, because he has had to learn to overachieve just to recover.
By the 2014 season Eric will be in the rotation of DT’s in Tampa and he will find that he has surpassed his previous playing ability with a ferocity that defies fear, because he will have a new lease on life and will know that he has survived the worse that can be thrown at him, and he beat it back and the world will gasp at his stunning performance on third downs.
By 2015, just 5 short years from his terrible injury at Rutgers, at the tender age of 27, Eric LeGrand will be the dominate DT in the league and will be the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many all over the NFL will be comparing him to Warren Sapp and Lee Roy Selmon but Eric will have done something nobody in the history of the world has done, he will have returned from an injury that doctors had doomed him to a life of paralysis to not only recover, but be bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before because he had knocked on death’s door and faced that ultimate fear at the brink, and that will make him unstoppable. And his never-say-quit attitude will carry the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a string of Superbowl wins that will dominate the NFL for a 6 year period up to the 2022 season. And Eric LeGrand will be known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game and he’ll not only change the game of football for the better, but will alter the course of medical science.
It will all come back to the odd decision of Coach Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign a paralyzed, but optimistic kid to their 90 man roster in 2012, a decision that will reenergize Buccaneer football in Tampa to a new decade of dominance and inspire the world to the unlimited possibilities of positive thinking. Once again it will be proven that the prizes of life do not go to the quicker, the stronger, or the largest man, but to the one who simply refuses to quit and believes that they can do anything once they set their mind to it and force their bodies to equal the quality of their thoughts. The strength of heart simply has more value than the bulk of muscle, and is so rare that even if a person is in a wheel chair they can have more value than a whole busload of healthy players that are the best physical athletes of their age, yet lack the inner drive to achieve beyond expectation. That is why Eric LeGrand will change the world, starting with the fate of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Fire the CANNONS!!!!!!
This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon