Let me get this out of the way: I bleed New York Football Giants Blue. Always have (even during the halcyon days of Broadway Joe Namath’s stardom). Always will.
Still, I am dazzled by the lessons presented by the Giants this year. The football team, weighed down by injuries and scathing public criticism (well, it IS NYC), lost four games in a row earlier in the 2011 season.
Stuck in mud with a lame 7-7 record, the Giants won their final two encounters and finished up with an underwhelming 9-7 mark. They made the playoffs, and so anything could happen.
And it did. The Giants proceeded to upset the 15-1 Green Bay Packers and then polished off the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers in a thrilling overtime victory. (Both the Packers and the Niners had defeated the Giants during the regular season). Now, the Giants will be playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
It’s an amazing turn of events. The life lessons shine through here. Never say die. Don’t give up. Hang tough. Stay positive. Don’t succumb to critics and criticism.
I don’t usually subscribe to the notion that sports is a proxy for real life and that athletes are any wiser than the rest of us. They are definitely not role models, either.
And yet, we can glean deep lessons from following successful sports organizations. The idea that people pulling together for a common purpose can be very inspiring. We can pick up tips about doing our jobs correctly and sacrificing personal gain for a united purpose.
And I’ll be very happy when the Giants win the Super Bowl — say, 34-24.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.
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