Much like most everyone, I too enjoyed partaking in all that is Super Bowl Sunday. Fortunately we seem to be in the midst of a pretty good run of Super Bowl games – competitive, down to the wire, class organizations and players – all that really any casual fan could hope for in a Super Bowl. And of course the drama and hype. The story lines of Brady and his legacy, the Patriots dynasty and Belichick, will Peyton play again and for whom, the Giants defense, and all of the other fodder of websites, talking heads, media moguls and bloggers. Nothing like Super Bowl Sunday.
Yet through all the noise, there stood Eli- quiet and focused, never the center of attention. He was probably the fourth most talked about quarterback in the week before the game. All the focus was on Tom Brady and his chance to join Montana and Bradshaw in the elite-of-elite 4 time Super Bowl Champion club. Then of course there were the Peyton stories – is he coming back, is he healthy enough to play again, will the Colts re-sign him, and of course how will Eli compare to him with his second Super Bowl appearance. And with Peyton comes the Andrew Luck talk. And yet, there was Eli, quietly preparing for the game – the one that will be played on the field.
Eli is the quiet warrior, the leader without ego. In a market that has a long history of destroying the strongest, Eli has thrived. New York and its media do not phase him, not with their relentless criticism in times of struggle, nor with their praise in times of greatness. He is always steady, always calm, and above all always focused. It is refreshing to see, in an era of flash and hype, statistics and marketing, celebrity in the name of celebrity, that the fundamentals still remain true in leadership and winning. Focus on what matters and ignore what does not. Practice, prepare, plan, and execute. Think long not short-term. Lead through action, both on and off the field. But above all, make it about the team, about the organization, and the overall win. There is always enough glory to go around – always.
Thanks Eli for reminding us all how it can be and should be done. Your actions and lack of words send a very clear message.