It is that classic American of spectacles, Super Bowl Sunday. The game, the pageantry, the parties and the food. Only in America. Everything about it is bigger, louder, flashier and fattier. This year was no different. From the Peyton hype, the NYC centric weather debates, to the Richard Sherman loud mouth or genius arguments, it was a constant stream of media hype, gobbled up by the American public and washed down with Bud Lights by the millions. The big screen HDTV was invented for just such an occasion.
Other than being reminded of the all too often SEC drubbing of Big Ten/ND teams in BCS bowls, watching the Seahawks out run, hit, swagger, flash and fun the Broncos, I found myself reminded of why I have often viewed Pete Carroll as a great example of leadership. It was 5 years ago this month I wrote about the then USC head coach and an interview he gave on 60 Minutes. What struck me then was his passion. Nothing has changed in those 5 years (maybe my writing has become more concise). The guy is still as passionate as ever, and that message resonates as strongly as ever. The results speak for themselves.
It is clear Pete Carroll loves, absolutely loves, what he does. He loves coaching, he loves his players, he loves the game, the competition, and certainly winning. The guy has a blast, you can just tell. He is one of the oldest people in his profession, yet appears and acts as one of the youngest. His energy and enthusiasm is infectious. In a profession typified by hyper stressed coaches glaring and screaming, Pete Carroll seems to be having an absolute ball. Yes his players make mistakes, yes discipline is not absolute, but the lapses are made up for ten fold…mostly.
And for all his fun-loving, good time nature, he is very open about the fact that competition is the driving factor. Anyone can take anyone’s job. Every practice, every play, every training session and meeting, it is absolutely about competing and winning. He holds people to account. If you are the best at what you do, you play. If you are complacent, you sit. It is not mean-spirited, but it is reality. You play like you practice.
A great many things go into success. Though passion and a positive mental attitude alone are never enough, things sure are easier with them. Plus, the pursuit of success tends to just be a whole lot more fun when one wants to be there and is enjoying what they are doing. It has become cliché, “the NFL is a grind”, but from here, Pete Carroll seems to do it differently, and everyone seems happier and more successful.